Investors from Hong Kong established 72,413 firms in the neighboring province of Guangdong from 1979 to 2002, involving US$102.6 billion in direct investment, local media has reported.
According to a report published on Tuesday by Guangzhou Daily, about 80 percent of Hong Kong's overall investment outside the port city, and 69 percent of all overseas investment flowed into Guangdong between 1979 and 2002.
China decided to open its door to overseas investors in 1978, and investment from Hong Kong, Macao and Taiwan was given preferential treatment over investment from other regions.
Since 1997, the year China resumed its exercise of sovereignty over Hong Kong after one-and-a-half centuries of British colonial rule, over 90 percent of enterprises in Hong Kong set up manufacturing factories in the Pear River Delta region in Guangdong.
The investment created about 8 million jobs in Guangdong and 1.5 million jobs for Hong Kong itself.
Wang Liwen, deputy director of the Development Research Center of Guangdong provincial government, said about 90 percent of the manufacturing sector in Hong Kong had relocated to Guangdong since the late 1970s.
Wang, an expert in economic relations between Guangdong and Hong Kong, said the service sector in Hong Kong began to invest in Guangdong in the latter half of the 1990s, including real estate, catering and retailing.
(Xinhua News Agency August 9, 2003)