The ban that allowed no foreign-funded companies to take holdings of Chinese wharf was for the first time broken up by the Huijian Wharf Com., Ltd. of Xiangyu Bonded Area in Xiamen (Amoy), Fujian Province.
Recently the company succeeded in getting the approval from the Ministry of Communications that the Huijian Holding Co. was permitted to engage in loading and unloading, warehouse and transit businesses for ocean-shipping containers at the wharf.
The company is the first holding company from among all foreign-funded companies, which has been approved by the state department concerned to engage in wharf business after the implementation of the "Master List for Foreign Investment Industries" newly published by the State Planning Commission, Foreign Trade and Economic Commission and Ministry of Foreign Trade and Economic Cooperation.
The company was set up with the Fujian Xiangyu Group Co. Ltd to cover 40 percent of investment and the rest being taken up by other three companies registered in Hong Kong, the foreign capital accounting for the holding place.
As learned the "Master List for Foreign Investment Industries" before last April stipulated that foreign investment to the facility construction and operation of public piers along the coastal harbors of China's mainland should not exceed 50 percent of the total shares, nor should it be a shareholding company.
After China's entry into the WTO the investment to the construction and operation of domestic harbors and wharves must be opened to the outside according to the relevant agreement. Under the circumstances, the state department concerned has it stipulated that, starting from April 1, 2002, it is encouraged for foreign capital to make its investment to the facility construction and operation of public piers along the coastal harbors of China's mainland, in which it's no longer necessary for the Chinese side to be a shareholding company.
As learned, the Huijian Wharf is located by No.13 and 14 berths in the Dongdu Port area of the Xiangshan Bonded Area. Persons in the trade think that the approval by the Ministry of Communications for Huijian Wharf to be held by foreign capital has struck a prelude of allowing and encouraging foreign capital to invest in China's port construction.
The port construction in China is now somewhat lagged behind, but there are a lot of business opportunities. Whereas the introduction of the policy will greatly rouse the enthusiasm of foreign investment in China's port construction, thereby speeding up to a great extent the pace for the modernization in China's port construction. In this aspect the Port of Xiamen has cut a figure in the nationwide introduction of foreign capital for port construction.
(People's Daily June 24, 2002)