By Zheng Caixiong in Guangzhou
Guangzhou authorities are building a "non-governmental financial street" to offer financing and fundraising services to the city's small, medium-and micro-sized enterprises, a senior financial official of the city has said.
"The financial street, which will be completed before the end of May, is expected to play an important role in helping to bail out the city's many of small, medium- and micro-sized enterprises that are running in the red because of inadequate funds for expansion and development," Cai Jian from the city's finance office told reporters after the city government's routine work conference on Friday.
"In the first stage, the financial street will attract 35 companies and organizations to provide financing and wealth management services," Cai said.
"These companies and organizations will include 20 non-governmental and micro loan firms, financing guarantee corporations, pawnshops and 15 privately run banks, stock and futures companies, insurance firms, vehicle financing enterprises and trading companies of precious metals, gold and jewelry," Cai said.
The city government attaches great importance to the financial street, Cai said.
Guangzhou Mayor Chen Jianhua and Executive Deputy Mayor Chen Rugui have visited the site numerous times in the past weeks to coordinate construction, he said.
The city and district governments are now investing more than 150 million yuan ($23.8 million) to reconstruct and decorate the old Qilou or arcade-houses of the financial street as well as build electricity and water supplies, fire protection and related transportation and communication facilities.
The Guangzhou city government has also established the Guangzhou Financial Street Management Company to operate the financial street, Cai said.
Located in the Changdidamalu Road in Guangzhou's busy Yuexiu district, the financial street, situated in the northern bank of the Pearl River, used to be a bustling commercial area and a foreign concession in the city proper.
The financial street will be the first that focuses on offering financing and money management services to the small enterprises on the Chinese mainland, Cai said.
Cai said his office is also drafting new regulations and rules to further standardize and guide the development of the city's non-governmental financial and related companies.
Jiang Guoqing, a Guangzhou businessperson, said the operation of the city's financial street will be good news for the city's small companies.
"Affected by the European debt crisis, many local companies are experiencing their most difficult period because of a lack of funds for development and expansion," he told China Daily on Friday.
"The financial street would certainly help the small, medium-and micro-companies expand their fundraising channels and overcome their financing and development difficulties," he said.
Guangdong has the largest number of small enterprises on the Chinese mainland. These enterprises have played an important role in local economic growth in recent years.
By the end of last year, Guangdong registered about 450,000 privately-run small, medium-and micro-sized enterprises, with an investment of more than 500 billion yuan. They employ about 3.8 million people.