Hong Kong port operator Modern Terminals signed an agreement with the Suzhou municipal government to invest RMB 1 billion in a container terminal in a move that will double the city's annual container throughput capacity to two million teu (20-foot- equivalent units).
Modern Terminals, controlled by Wharf (Holdings), said it received approval from the Jiangsu provincial government to buy a 70 percent stake in the second phase of Taicang port.
The controlling foreign stake may reflect Beijing's more relaxed attitude towards foreign investment in what was once regarded as a "strategically important" sector.
In the first 10 months of this year, Suzhou absorbed US$5.6 billion in actual foreign investment, or about 60 percent more than in the same period last year.
This ranks the city ahead of all Chinese cities in terms of actual foreign investment, according to a government source.