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29 Apr 2002
Swire Properties and Guangzhou Daily Group Join Hands for Major Property Development in Mainland China

Swire Properties Ltd and the Guangzhou Daily Group today (Monday, 29 April 2002) signed an agreement to develop the Taikoo Hui Guangzhou Cultural Plaza commercial and cultural complex in the Tianhe District of Guangzhou.

With an investment of ¥4 billion, the project will be Swire Properties' first substantial development in Mainland China. Swire Properties has a 55% stake in the joint venture, with the Guangzhou Daily Group holding a 45% stake.

The complex, which is scheduled for completion in 2006/7, will consist of a major retail centre, offices, including the headquarter office for Guangzhou Daily, a hotel, a performing arts centre and a major city library; more than 4 million square feet (370,000 square metres) in total. Upon completion, Taikoo Hui Guangzhou Cultural Plaza will be managed by Swire Properties.

The project is the first of its kind in Mainland China to include a combination of arts and cultural facilities with retail and commercial uses together with an international hotel in a single integrated development comprehensively planned for working, shopping, living and leisure.

Situated in the heart of the Tianhe District, the site is adjacent to the Tiyuzhongxin Station (Tianhe Sports Centre Station) of the Metro Line 1. A connection to a proposed new station on Metro Line 3 is also planned. The site is also close to the Guangzhou East Station, where through train services connect this vibrant city with Hong Kong.

Mr Zhu Xiao-dan, Guangzhou Municipal Party Standing Committee Member and Municipal Deputy Party Secretary, said, "This joint venture of Guangzhou Daily News Group, Guangzhou Cultural Bureau and Swire Properties - Taikoo Hui Guangzhou Cultural Plaza - will not only provide a modern facility for the development of the media and cultural industries, but will also help to upgrade the retail and servicing industries here.

"On the one hand, this will benefit the growing demand for cultural life of the Guangzhou citizens while on the other hand, it will help to promote modern infrastructure for public and service facilities. We look forward to seeing the completion of this project.

"China's accession to the World Trade Organisation provides a historical opportunity for Guangzhou to participate in a wider scope of international economic co-operation. We are actively seeking more opportunities of co-operation with multi-national companies.

"It is visionary of the Swire Group to choose Guangzhou as the first place for investment in the Mainland. Favourable factors and opportunities are now found for joint ventures in Guangzhou, and we believe these will be discovered in this project - Taikoo Hui Guangzhou Cultural Plaza."

Mr Keith Kerr, Managing Director of Swire Properties Ltd., remarked, "Taikoo Hui Guangzhou Cultural Plaza will become a landmark for Swire Properties and for Guangzhou.

"This complex will represent the newest generation of Swire Properties' developments, a generation that combines the strength and individual uniqueness of our three successful projects in Hong Kong, namely Pacific Place, Cityplaza and Festival Walk. Its pivotal location, at the confluence of the transportation systems, fulfils all the parameters that have contributed to our successful development of these core properties in Hong Kong.

"We had been looking for the right opportunity to invest in Mainland China, one that would allow us to utilise our particular expertise in property development and management. We have long seen Hong Kong's integration with the Pearl River Delta as the best option for our continued growth and prosperity.

"This project is a tangible expression of our faith in China's economic future. It is with great pleasure that I can say we have found both an excellent partner and a prime site to enable us to undertake our first significant investment in the mainland."

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