Overseas-funded enterprises in Shanghai's booming district of Pudong have contributed more than 50 percent to the district's gross domestic product, revenue and export, latest official statistics reveal.
By the end of August, Pudong had approved over 7,000 foreign- funded projects with a total investment of nearly 40 billion U.S. dollars from about 70 countries and regions.
Pudong exported and imported nearly 20 billion U.S. dollars worth of goods and services during the period, including 7.5 billion U.S. dollars in exports, up 26 percent and 27 percent respectively over the same period last year.
Located in eastern part of Shanghai, Pudong covers 522 sq. km with a population of about 1.5 million.
Once a backward part of Shanghai, it was opened up to overseas investment 11 years ago by the Chinese government to boost Shanghai and other areas along the Yangtze river.
Experts said Pudong has been a safe haven for international investment, citing sustained, stable and healthy economic development during the past decade, while much of Asia experienced financial crisis in late 1990s.
Pudong's robust economic and foreign trade performance has been achieved despite a sluggish economy in the United States, the European Union and Japan.
Overseas-funded companies have been described by local government as a vehicle for Pudong to achieve its catch-up strategy. Economists say overseas investment and foreign trade have resulted in major economic restructuring in Pudong.
A total of 6.3 billion U.S. dollars in contractual overseas investments have been used for trade, real estate development and other areas of the tertiary industry.
About 70 percent of overseas investment went to the manufacturing industry, involving pillar and high-tech industries promoted by local industrial policies.
Local officials say overseas investment also contributes 70 percent to the high-tech industries in Pudong and to its new and high-tech research and development programs.
One third of fixed asset investment in Pudong is from overseas investment, totaling 100 billion yuan (12 billion U.S. dollars).
One hundred and forty six of the world's top 500 multinationals have invested in Pudong and 600 investment companies are in the area with operating funds worth over 12 billion U.S. dollars.
The multinationals include United States-based companies GM, Intel, Bell, and Kodak, Japanese electronic giants Sony and Sharp, and Siemens of Germany.
According to the results of a recent survey of multinationals by American magazine Fortune, 92 percent of the multinationals plan to set up business centers in China with Shanghai their city of choice.
About 25 of those surveyed chose Shanghai, while 14 percent selected Beijing and 11 percent preferred Guangdong province, which borders Hong Kong.
(Xinhua News Agency 10/08/2001)