Plans are underway to construct Northeast Asia's largest software service park in Dalian, Liaoning Province.

Approved by the National Development and Reform Commission, the Dalian Software Park will become one of the five software export hubs in the country and is expected to have an export value of US$ 500 million by 2008, including US$ 450 million in exports to Japan, said Qu Xiaofei, a director with the Municipal Development Planning Commission.

"We have chosen one of the best areas in the city for software development," said Mayor Xia Deren at an examination and appraisal meeting of the concept planning committee of the Dalian Lushun Southroad software industrial belt. The second phase of the Dalian Software Park construction includes the invitation of six famous design and planning firms from around the world to develop a master plan for the belt.

For the 10-square-kilometre space, located among hills and beautiful scenery, the planning stage is challenging, said Klaus Kohlstrung of the German-based Obermeyer Consulting Engineers, which presented a prize-winning plan. "After a thorough analysis of the area, we fell deeply in love with the great and beautiful software project," said Kohlstrung. The park offered 10 million yuan (US$1.2 million) for concept development.

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