China welcomes foreign investment in its gold production, according to an official with the State Economic and Trade Commission (SETC).
Cheng Fumin, head of a gold administrative bureau under the SETC, made the statement at the Sino-South Africa trade fair on gold production and technology held in Zhaoyuan City of east China's Shandong Province.
China formally lifted the ban on foreign investment in gold production in March this year.
China's gold production technology and management is backward compared with major gold production countries in the world, so it is eager to introduce advanced technologies and management expertise, Cheng said.
The country now has gold reserves of 4,000 tons, of which about 1,000 tons can not be developed with China's current technology, but could be with advanced biological technologies already being used by other countries, he said.
China's industrial and public demand for gold far exceeds the country's own production. Local gold enterprises badly need good management and sales expertise. Both these factors offer vast opportunities to overseas investors, Cheng said.
The trade fair is jointly sponsored by the Gold Association of China, the Ministry of Trade and Industry of South Africa and the city government of Zhaoyuan, the most important gold mining area in China.
Over 30 South Africa businesses, including its largest gold enterprise, Gold Fields Limited, took part in the three-day event.
(People's Daily June 29, 2002)