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Guangzhou rolls out welcome mat
BY 2015-09-14 07:43:58

Participants at a special "Guangzhou Night" during this week's World Economic Forum were told more business opportunities will be created in the city, following the implementation of a series of policies planned as part of China's flagship Belt and Road Initiative.

The capital of Guangdong province, a major starting point on the ancient Maritime Silk Road, is currently in the midst of developing a pilot free trade zone, which will further open up its economy and help draw more international cooperation, top Party official Ren Xuefeng told an audience of more than 500 international business leaders and government officials on Thursday.

"We welcome international businesses to Guangzhou as we develop a new normal growth model - a model of slower growth, but of better quality - for the local economy," Ren said.

Guangzhou reported economic growth of 8.1 percent during the first half of the year, approving 790 new foreign direct investment projects in the first seven months, according to officials figures.

The gala evening focused on Guangzhou was the first of its kind organized during the forum being held in Dalian.

Also addressing the audience was Klaus Schwab, founder and executive chairman of the World Economic Forum, who said Guangzhou's rich cultural and economic resources would help create more business opportunities in the southern metropolis.

"As one of the key partners of the World Economic Forum, Guangzhou is like a shining star in the sky, sparkling in the world economy," Schwab said.

City officials are pledging to strengthen trade and investment cooperation with countries and regions along the Belt and Road - the economic network proposed by China in 2013 that includes the Silk Road Economic Belt and the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road.

The network connects Asia, Europe and Africa and passes through more than 60 countries and regions with a population of about 4.4 billion.

The southern city is also building a pilot free trade zone in its Nansha district, the biggest part of the China (Guangdong) Pilot Free Trade Zone, which also includes Qianhai in Shenzhen and Hengqin in Zhuhai. The authorities have prioritized shipping equipment manufacturing and logistics services in the pilot zone.

Honson To, chairman of KPMG in China, told Guangzhou Daily that it was actively looking for investment opportunities in Nansha, "which offers great advantages in international logistics".

(Editor:Grace) (From:China Daily)
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