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The sixth session of Ningbo Association for Friendship with Foreign Countries

On the afternoon of July 19, the sixth session of Ningbo Association for Friendship with Foreign Countries was held. Chenxin, deputy secretary of the municipal party committee and director of the association was present and delivered a speech.

The meeting examined the work report of the fifth session and put forward proposals for work within the next five years. It also approved of the newly elected director, deputy directors and the revision of the articles of the association.

Chen points out that Ningbo is now in a critical time of internationalization, urbanization, informationalization and marketization. Opening up to the outside world has been the greatest advantage for Ningbo's development and will be the greatest foundation for Ningbo to depend on for future development. He expressed his thanks for the association's work to push forward Ningbo's friendly relationship with cities of other countries and to help private enterprises to develop business and investment in other countries. He hoped the association will continue to play its role as a bridge with other countries. He pointed out that the association should combine folk diplomacy with Ningbo's foreign trade, push forward the multi-cultural communication among peoples and show great concern for all the foreigners working and studying in Ningbo so that folk diplomacy can make further contribution to Ningbo's opening up.

Ningbo ranks the third in the degree of satisfaction with basic public service

The Blue Paper on Public Service issued on July 16 by the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences indicates that, in the list of satisfaction with basic public service among the 38 major cities, Ningbo ranks the third, only after Beijing and Qingdao.

The paper was issued on July 17 by the academy, based on a survey among 38 major cities.

The capacity of basic service refers to the government's capacity to provide basic service concerning social security and employment, basic medical care, public safety, basic education, housing, public transportation, urban environment, sports and entertainment, etc.

Results of the survey show that housing, social security, and medical care are the three problems that arouse the most public concern. The overall degree of satisfaction with basic public service is comparatively low, but still within bearable extent.

The top ten cities on this list are Qingdao, Beijing, Ningbo, Dalian, Lasa, Zhuhai, Hangzhou, Chongqing, Xiamen, and Zhengzhou.

500 companies exempted over 100 million yuan

On July 13, the People's Bank of China Ningbo Branch released the information that since the cross-border RMB settlement was started on a trial basis on June 23, 2010, the cross-border settlements by the end of June reached 27.291 billion yuan, which means the exchange costs saved for 500 companies reached 100 million yuan.

Cross-border RMB settlement services are getting multifarious, such as RMB credit settlement, RMB L/G, RMB collection, etc. In terms of settlement structure, trade of imported goods takes a dominant position. In about a year's time, the settlements for imported goods amounted to 16.15 billion yuan, accounting for 59.19%. The settlements for exported goods keep rising too, totaling 502 million yuan during the year.

The piloting settlement of overseas direct investment has made some breakthroughs. Through increment of investment by RMB and project investment, the direct investment via RMB totaled 264 million yuan. The investment increment by foreign investors and loans of overseas shareholders reached 499 million yuan.

The overseas regions for RMB settlement keep increasing, from the original HK and Macau, Asian, to the US, Russia, the UK, France, Germany, Australia, Brazil, Argentina, Iran, UAE(United Arab Emirates), totaling 44 countries and regions.

Foreign trade in private enterprises accelerated in the first half of the year

According to statistics from Ningbo customs house, in the first half of 2011, foreign trade in private enterprises stabilized and began to pick up, with import amounting to $23.17 billion, a corresponding increase of 22.7% and 2.8 percentage points higher than the increase in foreign trade in Ningbo for the same period, accounting for 49.5% of the sum total of import and export, contributing 55.1% to the growth in foreign trade in Ningbo.

Private enterprise are a major force of foreign trade in Ningbo and have become the most active and vigorous market entities of foreign trade. With the global economy picking up, with the policy support of the state and local government, the import and export business in private enterprises have begun to pick up steadily. As far as business partners are concerned, the export markets of enterprises mainly include the European Union, the United States and ASEAN countries while business with the Oceania, Japan and Russia has also increased rapidly.

The biggest amount of exported products in the first half of the year are mechanical and electrical products, followed by labor-intensive products, both of which increased quickly. The export of mechanical and electrical products amounted to $8.23 billion, a corresponding increase of 18.42%, accounting for 54.2% of the sum total of export of the same period. At the same time, the export of traditional labor-intensive products amounted to $4.95 billion, a corresponding increase of 24.4%.

Ningbo utilized foreign investment of 1.1 billion USD in first five months

According to statistics of the foreign trade bureau, Ningbo has newly approved 148 foreign investments during the first five months, with the contractual amount reaching 1.88 billion USD, up 41% over the same period last year, with the actual utilized amount reaching 1.16 bln, up 26%. In May alone, the contractual amount reached 435 million USD, and the actual mount 259 million USD, up 52% and 39% respectively.

HOPSCA-(Hotel, Office, Park, Shopping mall and Convention Area) has become a heated spot for foreign investment. During the ZJTIF, the Poly Plaza has been started up in Zhenhai, which consists of shopping malls, entertainment facilities, restaurants, hotels and offices), with planned area of 350,000 m2, which is about 1.6 times larger than the Tianyhi Square. In addition, 555 Group of the US is also to invest 800 million dollars in the Jiangbei District to start up a HOPSCA project.

Statistics show that the foreign investments in the tertiary sector increased by 1.3 times during the five months. Those of scientific research, wholesaling, retailing, rental service, commerce, transportation and warehousing have increased by 6.8 times, 2.9 times, 2.6 times and 51.8% respectively.

The confidence of foreign investors in Ningbo has been strengthened. This year, the Ningbo Airtech Company has increased the total investment from 48.55 mln UD to 84.55 mln USD, with the registered capital increased from 20 million to 32 million. Recently, the company set up an engineering center of 40,000 m2 in Fenghua, with investment of 100 million yuan.

Another example is the Ningbo Guanbao Warehousing Co., Ltd, which increased its investment from 52 million USD to 1,020 million USD. "We are optimistic about the prospect of Ningbo market. Ningbo's maneuver to forge an international big port has consolidated our confidence in expanding investment", said an executive of the company.

Statistics also show that about 100 foreign companies have increased their investment during the first five month, with the contractual investment increased reaching 510 million USD.

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