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Summer Davos Meeting Brings Opportunity to NE China
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Hosting the summer meeting of the World Economic Forum (WEF) would win Dalian, a port city nested in northeast China's Liaoning Province, a golden opportunity for development, officials and experts said ahead of the meeting.


"It will bring the city more chances to open itself up," said Xia Deren, mayor of Dalian. "It could also help local companies emerge as global players."


Li Bozhou, head of the Dalian Council for Promotion of International Trade, saw the summer Davos meeting a chance to make Dalian better known to the world. "This is a beginning, and more such events shall be held here and some of the participants might come to Dalian again in the future."


The port, industrial, trade and tourism city of Dalian is one of the attractive cities for foreign investment in northeast China.     


According to Liu Dechun, head of the Trade and Economic Cooperation of Dalian, the city approved 377 foreign-funded companies, with the actual use of 1.76 billion yuan (231.6 million U.S. dollars of foreign investment during the first seven months this year, up 111.4 percent over the corresponding period last year. Imports and exports totaled 20.44 billion U.S. dollars, up 27.68 percent.


Thirty-one foreign companies with each investing at least 50 million U.S. dollars expanded their presence in Dalian. U.S. computer chip giant Intel Corp. announced in March this year to establish a 2.5-billion-U.S.-dollar semiconductor plant, its first Asian factory.


Dalian, covering 12,574 square km and boasting a population of 5.5 million, is recognized as the spearhead of northeast China in economic growth. It raked in a GDP of 256.9 billion yuan (33.8 billion U.S. dollars) last year, up 16.5 percent over 2005.


China is striving to rejuvenate its old industrial base of northeast China, a 1.45-million-square-km area comprising the provinces of Liaoning, Jilin, Heilongjiang and the eastern part of Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region.


The last three years has seen dramatic economic growth in the region, which caught up with the national average, said Zhang Guobao, vice minister of the National Development and Reform Commission.


(Xinhua News Agency September 6, 2007)


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