By YUE ZHANG
 Xiamen, the host city of China International Fair for Investment and Trade (CIFIT), is beefing up efforts to make the annual event into an international investment expo, said a senior local official.
 That will replace the fair's old role as a single-function platform that was designed to absorb overseas funds for the Chinese mainland.
 "Our goal is to make the eight-year-old CIFIT an international investment expo incoming years, which will offer opportunities for global business people to find partners," said Vice-Mayor Huang Ling at a news briefing.
 The move will help the traditional event to play a bigger role in fueling China's economy as the country is increasingly integrated into the global economy.
 The coastal city will adopt a two-pronged strategy in a bid to realize that ambition.
 First, Huang said, the fair must give higher priority to helping domestic firms go global.
 The eighth CIFIT, to be held on September 8, will launch a special fair for Chinese firms wishing to invest abroad.
 "At present, CIFIT is still weak in promoting the "go-global" campaign," Huang said. "But we will continue to rev up efforts in this regards in coming years."
 Currently, more than 30 domestic firms have applied to attend the fair, and a total of 250 overseas projects have been approved for promotion at the event.
 Most of these projects are in energy and power, agriculture and processing trade sectors, Huang said.
 In addition, Huang believes more international agencies and business delegations should be invited to the fair to make it a real international expo.
 "An international investment fair should be a gathering for businesses from across the planet," she said.
 The updated figure from the event's organizing committee showed that 212 business delegations from more than 50 nations and regions have applied to attend the event -- a number that is expected to rise.
 The fair is expected to be the largest in its history in terms of the number of attendees and scale, Huang said.
 Commenting on the future of the CIFIT, Huang said she is confident that the well-known fair will play a bigger role in empowering the regional economy.
 "The CIFIT has been recognized as an authoritative, international investment fair," she said. "Its long-time fame and richness of client resources will ensure its rosier future in the face of a rising number of trade fairs in China."
 Since 1997, the fair has attracted a total of US$69.8 billion of contractual overseas funds and witnessed the signing of trading deals worth US$5.3 billion.

Fujian Governor Lu Zhangong 
By Li YiFan
 The government of East China's Fujian Province is urging all related departments to take steps to guarantee the success of the upcoming Eighth China International Fair for Investment and Trade (CIFIT).
 Better preparations, co-ordination, security and services are required for the fair, said the province's Governor Lu Zhangong, also the director of the Eighth CIFIT's organizing committee.
 Sponsored by the Ministry of Commerce, the fair is the only nationwide international fair focusing on international investment. It will be held between September 8 to 11 in Xiamen, Fujian Province.
 Lu has asked all government departments to pay more attention to preparatory work for the fair, to upgrade the quality and efficiency of the CIFIT.
 "The CIFIT is a banner for Fujian, and for China," Lu said.
 As the host province of the fair, Fujian should play a firm supporting role, he said.
 Better security and services for all participants were also the focus of the work of the fair's organizing committee, Lu added.
 Officials in the fair's organizing committee said the CIFIT would have several new highlights different from the past seven sessions, including helping Chinese businesses go global, promoting domestic projects, property transfer, international mergers, boosting Northeast China's traditional industrial bases and closer links between Hong Kong, Macao and the mainland.
 The fair will be the first CIFIT since Fujian Province put in place a new development strategy -- to build an economic zone on the west bank of the Taiwan Straits -- so it means a lot to the province, Lu said.
 He said the Fujian delegation to the CIFIT should pay a lot of attention to showing the image and investment environment of the west bank of the Straits.
 "We should try to establish a platform to introduce more investment for the developing economic zone and ensure there is efficiency in arranging the province's projects during the fair," Lu said.

 Member of the China Inernational Fair for Investment and Trade(CIFIT) gather to discuss the preparatory work and their plans for participation of the annual event.

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  Exports say the three Northeast China provinces should make breakthroughs in some aspects with an attempt to revive the traditional industrial bases.

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Editorial Department of international Investment Express Tel: 86-591-780 6619 Fax: 86-591-780 6617 E-mail:fujian@chinadaidy.com.cn
Organizing Committee of China International Fair for investment and rade Tel: 86-592-506 8420,514 6205 E-mail: 98xiamen @public.xm.fj.cn