|50 Shanghai Firms to Invest in Xinjiang|
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About 50 Shanghai companies, mostly private firms, have signed deals to invest about 20 billion yuan (US$3 billion) in the Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region because businessmen have been quick to sniff out opportunities in the resource-rich region under the latest round of stimulus measures to develop it.
"Private companies are really quick in grasping investment opportunities," said Chen Jing, deputy secretary-general of Shanghai municipal government, who is also head of the city team based in Xinjiang to ensure a smooth path for the investment projects.
More than 200 corporate delegations have visited Xinjiang to tap business opportunities since the summer when Shanghai started its latest round to lure investment in Kashi, or Kashgar, in Xinjiang's west.
Shanghai is boosting economic development in four counties in Kashi, including sending teachers and doctors there.
China is calling developed cities and provinces to help in the economic development of Xinjiang, a region of 1.6 million square kilometers which has abundant oil reserves. Kashi is supported by Shanghai and Shenzhen as well as the provinces of Shandong and Guangdong.
"The stimulus move is a call from the central government but also offers opportunities for Shanghai corporations." Chen said.
Huang Jun, chairman of Shanghai International Medical Zone Group and associate director of Shanghai Zhangjiang Hi-Tech Park Administrative Committee led a business delegation to Kashi to consider investment in the pharmaceutical industry.
"Xinjiang is strong in curing vitiligo, and we're planning to invest here to set up medicine-making factories," Huang said.
The Shanghai government plans more than 9 billion yuan of stimulus investment in Xinjiang in five years to improve infrastructure, hospital facilities and residential areas. The city plans to invest 1.56 billion yuan this year.
The region in northwest China, covering about one sixth of China's territory, is the country's largest natural gas producing area.
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Published on our website on Sept.26, 2010