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Pacts on Auto City Inked in Shanghai
The city signed agreements with 14 multinationals and Chinese auto conglomerates on Monday to push forward the construction of its International Automobile City.

The agreements deal with building an auto mansion, an auto theme park, an auto service center, an auto research and development centre and an auto exhibition centre, said Zhang Lichun, president of Shanghai International Automobile City Development Co Ltd.

The 14 companies, including General Motors Asia Co and General Motors China Co, have said they intend to expand Shanghai's automobile industry in the auto city.

Zhang declined to disclose the total amount of value.

"As one of the city's key projects, the auto city has become an attraction to foreign investors," Zhang said.

The auto city is being launched by the Shanghai municipal government to meet the growing demand for automobiles. China is expected to become one of the world's three major auto markets by 2010 with annual demand reaching 5.8 million vehicles.

The planned auto city, located in Shanghai's Jiading District, covers an area of 68 square kilometers and will require an estimated 10 billion yuan (US$1.2 billion) investment in infrastructure facilities.

The total investment for construction of the auto city, slated for completion by 2010, is expected to hit 50 billion yuan (US$6 billion), he said.

"After 10 years of effort, the auto city will fulfil its ambition to become a major auto trade market and an important distribution centre for vehicles and parts in the Asia-Pacific Rim," said Hu Maoyuan, chairman of Shanghai International Automobile City Development Co Ltd.

On completion, the auto city will have an auto manufacturing centre, an auto trade center, an auto parts manufacturing center and an auto town.

Hu said the auto city will be built in phases.

(China Daily December 11, 2001)

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