Sino-German eco-park attracting investment
Updated: 2011-12-07 07:52
By Ding Qingfen (China Daily)
Chinese entrepreneurs talk with a representative of the European Union Chamber of Commerce in Nanjing, Jiangsu province. Xiao En / For China Daily
EU members see great potential in China as their economies slow
QINGDAO, Shandong - Despite a slowdown in the pace of investment growth from the European Union (EU) and the trading bloc's debt woes, China's appeal remains strong and EU investment, especially in the new-energy sector, will surge, according to the Ministry of Commerce.
"There is no other nation that's more attractive than China as an investment destination for European businesses," said Su Jing, deputy director-general of the department of foreign investment administration at the ministry, speaking at the foundation ceremony for a Sino-German eco-park in Qingdao in Shandong province.
The park, covering 10 square kilometers (sq km), is the first venture of its kind between the two nations. It's designed to help China attract German investment in sectors such as renewable energy, energy reduction and environmental protection.
"At promotional fairs during the past few months, a large number of German businesses, and even some from further afield in Europe, expressed strong interest in participating and investing in the park, including Siemens and Bayer," said Yao Jian, Qingdao's deputy mayor and a former commerce ministry spokesman.
The park is expected to be fully operational in 10 years and, when completed, will be a world-class venue for green industry. The first phase, covering 3.5 sq km, will be developed during the next three to five years.
Meanwhile, the growth rate of EU investment in China has been slowing as a result of the continent's debt crisis. Between January and October, investment from the 27 EU nations totaled $5.51 billion, an increase of 1.05 percent from a year earlier. Conversely, Chinese foreign direct investment (FDI) surged by 15.86 percent year-on-year to $95 billion.
However, Su said he is confident about the prospects for EU investment in China. "We have no reason to be pessimistic about it, judging by the passion shown by the German enterprises taking part in the Qingdao eco-park," he said.
Germany is the largest investor in China among the European nations.
"It is true that the European debt crisis is still ongoing, but the green industry is becoming a new growth engine for investment cooperation between China and the EU," said Yao.
He said EU investment in industries such as environment al protection and green energy will grow rapidly.
"Many large-scale, small and medium-sized European enterprises have spent huge amounts in these sectors, and their high-technology equipment is exactly what China will need in the years ahead."
European nations have invested massively in the development of renewable and new-energy technologies. However, the deepening European debt crisis means that many companies will find it difficult to survive if they don't expand overseas, according to experts.
Apart from Germany, China has also signed agreements on economic and investment cooperation with eight nations, including France, Switzerland, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom, said Su.
"The agreements will facilitate the transformation of China's economic growth model by introducing renewable and new-energy technologies," he said.
On Monday, China and France announced the establishment of an environmental protection park covering an area of 5 sq km in Shenyang, the capital city of Liaoning province. China has pledged to focus on the development of the green economy as part of the 12th Five-Year (2011-2015) Plan.