277.2b yuan deals signed at the 8th PPRD Forum in Haikou
More than 200 investment deals totaling 277.2 billion yuan ($44.49 billion) were signed at the eighth Pan-Pearl River Delta Regional Cooperation and Development Forum, said Ni Jian, deputy secretary-general of the Hainan provincial government.
In addition, purchasers expressed their intent to sign other deals worth 13 billion yuan with companies from the forum’s member provinces.
Established in 2003, the forum is composed of eight provinces – Hainan, Guangdong, Fujian, Jiangxi, Hunan, Sichuan, Guizhou and Yunnan – the Guangxi Zhuang autonomous region, and the Hong Kong and Macao special administrative regions .
They cover some 20 percent of the country’s total area and are home to more than 30 percent of its total population. In 2011, the GDP of the nine member provinces reached 15.2 trillion yuan, accounting for 32 percent of the country’s total.
Hainan’s Vice-Governor Li Guoliang said the forum has greatly boosted economic and social development, calling it an outstanding example of regional cooperation and development.
From its establishment in 2003 to the end of 2011, the forum helped facilitate more than 17,300 investment agreements worth 2.6 trillion yuan, paving the way for deeper and wider cooperation, said Tang Hao, secretary-general of the forum’s joint assembly.
The areas for potential cooperation have been expanded to customs, family planning, research and development and media on the basis of 10 basic sectors, such as infrastructure, tourism, and business, outlined in a framework agreement signed by governments in the pan-Pearl River Delta region in 2004.
The forum also helps speed up the flow of capital and people among its members.
Official statistics show that as of August, Hainan had 6,170 Hong Kong-funded enterprises, which collectively invested $9.8 billion, and more than 2 million people from Guangdong province moved to the island for work.
As cooperation deepens, great achievements are being made in terms of the region’s transportation network, officials say.
The Wuhan-Guangzhou and Fuzhou-Xiamen high-speed railways have been put into service, and expressways linking Guilin and Guangzhou are also open to traffic.
In addition, the project to connect Hainan and Guangzhou over the Qiongzhou Strait has been listed in China’s 12th Five-Year Plan (2011-15).
Now preparations are being done and construction on the project is set to start during the next Five-Year Plan period, Vice-Governor Li said.
Members of the forum are also working together to build industrial parks, share educational resources with each other and ease travel restrictions.
Residents in the forum’s nine members on the mainland now can visit Hong Kong and Macao individually, whereas a large portion of the Chinese population must use travel agents to book group tours to the two special administrative regions.
Calling the pan-Pearl River Delta cooperation "the most dynamic" in China, Li said the Hainan government will push forward the partnership in years to come in such sectors as ocean development, transport, tourism, agriculture and social management.
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