Chongqing the money king
Updated: 2012-04-06 08:44
By Hu Haiyan and Ma Wei (China Daily)
According to the offshore banking regulations, residents and legal entities are barred from having offshore accounts. But the State Administration of Foreign Exchange set up a pilot project in Chongqing to allow HP's Chongqing entity to take up the business and open offshore accounts in Hong Kong.
"It is unique across the nation, and the HP settlement center in the Asia-Pacific region has become the first international processing trade settlement center in China," Yang says. Something similar can be said of PayPal's Chongqing center.
"It is as a result of the great efforts of the local government that this foreign company can provide the e-payment services and conduct the free conversion of the yuan here, the only case in China," says Du with the e-commerce transaction certification center.
The certification center where he works is the first of its kind in China to oversee international e-commerce to guard against illicit money.
But reservations have been voiced about whether these successful cases can be replicated on a larger scale."If there is no general rule but just special approvals granted by central government, it will not be easy to promote this model on a much larger scale, and it is the local government's duty to seek support from the central government about rolling out the model. The general rule may be first tested in a special area before going nationwide and my team is working on that possibility," Yang says.
But Mu of the Chongqing Economic and Information Technology Commission says that the close cooperation between the local government and foreign companies is also key in making the innovation successful.
A recent change of leadership in the city has raised some concerns about investment. Vice-Premier Zhang Dejiang, who was appointed Party chief of Chongqing on March 15, later met several foreign IT heavyweights, including Jim Wong, the president of Acer, and promised to strive to enhance the city's status as a global leader in information technology.
Zhang told Wong that Chongqing would ensure "continuity and stability in its reform and opening-up policies", and Wong said Zhang's reassurance helped bolster investor confidence. Acer plans to expand its Chongqing manufacturing base into the largest communications technology research and manufacturing center in the world in two to three years, he said.
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