NEW YORK, Aug. 3 (Xinhua) -- Chongqing will become a regional financial center in southwestern China in the coming years, an official from the municipal government said here.
The city has set a goal to develop into a regional financial hub by 2015, Li Jianchun, director of Chongqing's Foreign Trade and Economic Commission, told Xinhua.
Chongqing, a traditional manufacturing center in China, has a population of 32.8 million. After being separated from Sichuan province and made into a municipality in its own right in 1997, the city has accelerated its development.
Chongqing has set favorable policies for foreign investments on both local income tax and enterprise income tax.
Any foreign-funded enterprise can open foreign currency accounts in any bank or financial institution in Chongqing which have the right to run foreign currency business, according to the official.
Foreign-funded enterprises may get loans from financial institutions, enterprises and individuals abroad, or from foreign financial institutions in China, and they are not subject to a loan quota.
The city also has invested heavily in infrastructure to attract investments. The network of roads and railways connecting Chongqing to the rest of China have been expanded and upgraded, reducing logistical costs. Those infrastructure improvements have led to the arrival of dozens of foreign investors in industries ranging from auto making to finance and retailing such as Ford, Mazda, HSBC, Standard Chartered Bank, Wal-Mart, and Carrefour.
"Chongqing is rapidly urbanizing to promote the region's investment and consumption demand," the official said.