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Guangxi deputies just love Beibu Bay
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As well as trying to attract banks from Guangdong and Vietnam to set up branches in the zone, authorities are planning to set up a Beibu Bay Bank or Guangxi Bank to sustain financial support for the area, Chen said.

He declined to specify a timetable, but said the bank will come into being "soon".

Lian Younong, another NPC deputy, yesterday said the Beibu Bay zone will screen investment projects, by giving the go-ahead only to those that are friendly to the environment and are low energy consumers.

Yu Yuanhui, a national legislator from Wuzhou in Guangxi, said Beibu Bay will provide a good option for manufacturing industries from coastal provinces looking to cut costs by relocating.

"We have relatively less expensive labor and land; and we share the same dialects and customs with them," he said.

Last month in Beijing, the region held a recruitment in a bid to attract leading professionals to the new zone, Li Jinzao, vice-chairman of Guangxi, said.

The region is also about to launch a series of outreach missions. Next month, a trade delegation will visit ASEAN member countries, Hong Kong and Macao, Li said.

Ultimately, the Beibu Bay zone will develop into a base for coastal industries, cooperative ventures in logistics, commerce and trade, and information exchange, between China and ASEAN, he said.

(China Daily March 14, 2208)

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