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Domestic Firms Urged to Go Abroad
Special policies are being considered to encourage domestic enterprises to get more actively involved in international prospecting and mining, according to Shou Jiahua, vice-minister of land and resources and director of the China Geological Survey.

With the new policy, the government may assume all costs incurred in the preliminary stages of development of a mine in a foreign country.

This will greatly reduce investor risk in such enterprises, because preliminary prospecting and evaluation costs in mining are very high and the return on investment is uncertain.

And, Shou said, the government will step up co-operation with foreign countries to enhance data collection on various mineral varieties in different regions of the world.

"The country should establish a unified professional team to collect and file information on the world's mineral resources," she said. "Such work has been made necessary as a result of globalization."

Based on the information filed, the team can participate actively in risk evaluations of overseas mining projects, laying a solid foundation for the country's future decisions regarding overseas mining investment.

In her address to the survey's first special work conference on foreign co-operation, Shou said the primary partners will come first from Asian countries, with which China enjoys a long tradition of friendly co-operation.

Shou also extended an invitation to interested international prospecting enterprises, saying they will bring more opportunities than challenges to their Chinese counterparts.

Their advanced technology and managerial methods will help the growth of fledgling Chinese enterprises in the field, she said.

Also at the meeting, Peng Qiming, director of the survey's foreign affairs department, disclosed that the survey has nailed down several co-operation projects with such countries as the United States, South Korea and Australia.

Also, it is actively negotiating with the French and Swiss governments for governmental loans for water exploration in the Ordos Basin in the Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region in North China and the monitoring of geological problems in the Three Gorges area on the Yangtze River, respectively.

( China Daily August 1, 2002)

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