Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macao Bridge brings benefits to Greater Bay Area

Aerial photo taken on Oct. 13, 2018 shows the Hong Kong section of the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macao Bridge in Hong Kong, south China. (Xinhua/Lui Siu Wai)

As a significant hinge for the coordinated development of the Greater Bay Area, the bridge has brought and will continue to bring benefits and convenience to people’s lives in the region.

GUANGZHOU, Oct. 23 (Xinhua) — The smooth operation of the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macao Bridge over the past year has brought tremendous opportunities and benefits to the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area.

Launched on Oct. 23 last year, the 55-km bridge, known as the longest bridge-and-tunnel sea crossing in the world, links China’s Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (SAR), the city of Zhuhai of southern Guangdong Province and Macao SAR.

It is the first large-scale infrastructure project jointly developed by Guangdong Province, Hong Kong SAR and Macao SAR under the principle of “one country, two systems.”

Yau Kin-Woo from the Hong Kong Association of Youth Commentators has become a frequent passenger since the bridge opened.

“The bridge and the cross-border shuttle buses are very convenient for visiting Macao and Zhuhai,” Yau said.

This year, Lau Suk-kwan, a kindergarten teacher from Macao, took students to the Hong Kong Disneyland Resort for their graduation trip. The whole journey only took them one and a half hours.

Aerial photo taken on Oct. 13, 2018 shows the artificial island of the Hong Kong section of the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macao Bridge in Hong Kong, south China. (Xinhua/Lui Siu Wai)

“In the past, we needed to first take a boat and then take a car. Sometimes children were seasick. It was really inconvenient,” said Lau.

“After just one year’s operation, the bridge port has become one of the busiest in the Greater Bay Area,” said He Feng from the bridge’s border control station in Zhuhai.

Over the past one year, the bridge has seen more than 14 million passengers as well as 1.5 million vehicles.

The bridge also injects new vigor into the area’s logistics and tourism sectors.

Lam Kam-fai has been working as a truck driver for 20 years. The opening of the bridge has slashed his travel time from Hong Kong to cities on the west bank of the Pearl River to four to five hours.

“I used to drive all day long for a single trip. It is much faster now,” Lam said.

Zhuhai Guangfeng Logistics Company where Lam works is one of the beneficiaries of the bridge. During the past year, the company saw its volume of imports and exports via the bridge hit 2.7 billion yuan (over 380 million U.S. dollars), and delivered about 1.7 million parcels for cross-border e-commerce.

“Thanks to the opening of the bridge, our transportation costs have fallen by as much as 30 percent. The annual cost of operating 1,000 freight vehicles can drop 600,000 yuan,” said Zhang Jie, general manager of the company.

Cars run on the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macao Bridge, Oct. 24, 2018. The Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macao bridge, the world’s longest cross-sea bridge, opened to public traffic at 9 a.m. Wednesday. (Xinhua/Liang Xu)

Meanwhile, according to the Macao Government Tourist Office, among the inbound passengers from January to September in 2019, the number of same-day visitors exceeded 15.9 million, up 30.6 percent year on year. The number of overnight-stay passengers also increased by 4.9 percent year on year to 14.27 million, indicating the positive effect of the bridge on local tourism.

The bridge is also becoming an important link coordinating the innovative development among cities in the bay area.

In the city of Jiangmen, 13 science and technology innovation projects signed between Jiangmen and Hong Kong are under further development. A total of 50 start-up teams from Hong Kong, Macao and Taiwan have settled in a local start-up incubator. In Zhuhai’s Hengqin Free Trade Zone, nearly 500 new Macao enterprises were registered in one year, bringing the total number of enterprises from Hong Kong and Macao to over 3,000.

Choy Yan-po, a young entrepreneur from Macao who frequently shuttles between Zhuhai, Hong Kong and Macao, said the completion of the bridge has significantly improved the operational efficiency of his start-up team.

“We can handle our business in the three cities in one day, which was completely impossible before,” he said.

“As a significant hinge for the coordinated development of the Greater Bay Area, the bridge has brought and will continue to bring benefits and convenience to people’s lives in the region,” said Yu Lie, deputy head of the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macao Bridge Authority.

Source: Xinhua

Incentives encourage HK youths to chase dreams in Greater Bay

A rainbow appears in the air over the city of Guangzhou, South China’s Guangdong province, Oct 3, 2016. [Photo/VCG]
Many of Hong Kong’s young people are embracing a historic opportunity in the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area, which has become a cradle for startups in particular, thanks to preferential polices, increasing business opportunities and an integrated living environment.

Lei Zi-hou of Hong Kong, who is in his 20s, shifted between several jobs after graduation but failed to find one that could match his major of electronic science and technology .

He started to consider mainland offers in the second half of 2018 and got a job at a software company in Guangzhou, the capital of Guangdong province.

But it was still not his ideal job.

“It has always been my dream to set up my own business,” he said. After working cross-border for a while, he now believes an opportunity is emerging for him to realize his dream.

He found that many cities in Guangdong have opened incubators for Hong Kong and Macao entrepreneurs to establish startups-part of measures to implement the nation’s plan for developing the Greater Bay Area.

The blueprint, released in February, aims to bolster the integrated development of nine cities in Guangdong with the Hong Kong and Macao special administrative regions. Following the guidelines, detailed measures have been carried out to make it easier for people from Hong Kong and Macao to live and work in the area.

For example, the incubator that Lei has chosen in Jiangmen provides rent-free offices and, more important, supervisors to introduce him to local manufacturers and potential business partners, he said.

He is preparing an application for the incubator on a project involving intelligent household products and is sorting out the supply chain. But he believes his dream is about to come true.

As more people from Hong Kong consider working or starting their own business across the border, some pioneers have become mentors to young entrepreneurs.

Among these pioneers is Chan Sing. In 2015, he took his crossborder e-commerce startup to an incubator in Shenzhen after running into difficulty raising funds in Hong Kong.

He said that at that time it was not easy for an internet-based startup to get sufficient financing due to lack of collateral, given that most of the fundraising channels in Hong Kong were banks.

Within six months, however, he had managed to secure a 50 million yuan ($7.1 million) investment in Shenzhen.

For the growing number of Hong Kong young people pursuing opportunities in Shenzhen, “the psychological support from a fellow townsman would be especially encouraging,” he said.

So he organized an incubator in Shenzhen along with a local district government. More than 40 teams have jumped on board, of which two-thirds are from Hong Kong.

He said financial technology and international trading of the mainland’s high-tech products are the two major opportunities for these startups, giving full play to Hong Kong’s advantages in finance and professional trading services.

Besides starting new businesses, some Hong Kong-based companies are expanding to the mainland as business integration increases, and their employees are relocated along with the expansion and decide to stay.

Loeng Zi-hin began working in Shenzhen in 2016 when his employer, Hong Kong-based Bielomatik Machinery Co, a provider of automatic manufacturing devices, was entering the mainland market.

“I found the technology industries are more diversified (in Shenzhen),” he said.

Witman Hung Wai-man, principal liaison officer for Hong Kong of the Shenzhen Qianhai Authority, said Hong Kong can provide a wide range of talent from industries including finance, science and engineering.

Source: China Daily

[Guangzhou in Figures] Guangzhou Municipal Planning and Natural Resources Bureau: performance of historical city conservation

Guangzhou has formed a protection list, which includes one historical urban area, 26 historical and cultural blocks, 19 historic and scenic districts, seven famous towns and villages, 91 traditional villages, 749 cultural relics protection units at all levels, 3,090 unmovable cultural relics, 817 historic buildings, 107 intangible cultural heritage projects and a large number of traditional architectures.

Through the establishment of an unmovable cultural heritage information management system, full-factor, holistic and systematic protection is implemented. At present, Guangzhou has basically specified the protection area and the development control area towards national, provincial and municipal cultural relics protection units, set up files for the first to third batches of historical buildings, completed the establishment of protection signs at historical and cultural blocks, famous towns and villages, and traditional villages and historical buildings in provincial level or above. Guangzhou has also completed 3D scanning and mapping of about 500 historical buildings and cultural blocks, covering an area of 150,000 square meters.

Source: Guangzhou Municipal Planning and Natural Resources Bureau

Guangzhou, Singapore to build scientific innovation zone

A cooperation agreement on the construction of a Sino-Singapore international scientific innovation cooperation demonstration zone in Guangzhou was signed during the China-Singapore Joint Council for Bilateral Cooperation Meeting in Chongqing on Oct 15.

The zone, located in Sino-Singapore Guangzhou Knowledge City, will be co-built by the administrative commission of Sino-Singapore Guangzhou Knowledge City, Sino-Singapore Guangzhou Knowledge City Investment and Development Co Ltd, and CapitaLand Limited, one of Asia’s largest diversified real estate groups.

Being designed as a high-level industrial zone for Sino-Singaporean international scientific innovation, the zone will carry out mutual cooperation in areas like intellectual property, smart cities, financial services, digital economy, and talent training.

It is expected that the zone will attract a total investment of 50 billion yuan ($7.06 billion) to prioritize the development of industries such as biomedicine and big health, smart manufacturing, the new generation of information technology, new materials, as well as new energy in the next five to 10 years.

Five functions, namely the research and development of science and technology, finance and business, cultural creativity, tourism and leisure, as well as ecological living will be covered in the overall layout of the zone. Quality resources from Singapore in areas like education and financial innovation will be introduced.

Currently, work has begun on a total of 54 major industrial projects and 113 construction sites, initially establishing an advanced high-tech industrial system. The number of companies registered in the zone has reached 1,605, while the accumulated registered capital has amounted to 136.03 billion yuan.

Source: eguangzhou.gov.cn

Guangdong’s AI business grows by leaps and bounds

Guangdong’s core business scale of the AI industry is expected to exceed 50 billion yuan ($7.06 billion) by 2020, according to the Guangdong provincial science and technology authority.

“Based on an AI development plan, the AI industry will drive development of related businesses such as robotics and smart equipment to a scale of 300 billion yuan by 2020,” said Yang Jun, deputy director-general of the Guangdong Science and Technology Department.

Guangdong, an economic powerhouse in South China, released an AI development plan in July 2018.

The scale of the core businesses of the AI industry in Guangdong reached 26 billion yuan in 2017, which took up about one-third of the national total, according to Yang.

To further help AI industry development, the Second China (Guangdong) AI International Summit is scheduled to open at Nansha district in Guangzhou, capital of Guangdong, from Oct 23 to 24.

With the theme of “AI & All”, the summit will invite top-notch scientists and industrial leaders to deliver speeches, unveil influential technologies and products and announce major projects and cooperation in the industry.

Additionally, the summit will include launching ceremonies for an open platform for AI innovation and the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area AI training center, established by the Guangzhou International AI Research Institute.

Nansha started fostering the AI industry in 2017, when the district opened various venues to the application of AI, such as hospitals, schools and roads.

The district has clustered more than 170 AI enterprises covering such fields as AI chip, algorithm and language recognition.

Source: China Daily

Business registration simplified for Guangzhou’s Huangpu district

Business people from Hong Kong and Macao will no longer need to travel between Guangzhou and the two special administrative regions for applications and registrations for investment in Guangzhou’s Huangpu district, according to the district government.

The Huangpu government signed a cross-border service cooperation agreement with several commercial financial organizations on October 22, to simplify the procedures of business application and registration for investment from Hong Kong and Macao.

According to the agreement, Hong Kong and Macao business investors are allowed to submit their application files in local financial organizations, which will eventually transfer investors’ documents to the market supervision authorities of the district.

After approval, Hong Kong and Macao investment applicants can also obtain business operation certificates in local financial organizations, which have already signed cooperation agreements with the Huangpu government.

According to sources with the Huangpu government, the simplified cross-border service is aimed at reducing costs and increasing efficiency for business investment from Hong Kong and Macao.

The booming Huangpu district, located in the heart of the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area, launched construction of several industrial zones for cooperation between Guangzhou and the two special administrative regions.

Source: China Daily

SMEs thrive as new momentum to economic growth in Guangzhou

Yuan Jianhua will never forget the subsidy from the local government in 2002 to help his company survive. It has now become a domestic leader in the development and production of laboratory consumable products.

“My experience tells me that a startup needs at least 10 years of survival and another 10 years to develop and succeed. Unfortunately, a big number of startups died in the first 10 years, as fund shortages were a major problem,” said Yuan, president of Guangzhou Jet Bio-Filtration based in South China’s Guangdong province.

He founded the company in Guangzhou Development District in 2001, which is under the administration of Huangpu district.

Two years later, the company was on the verge of bankruptcy. “I received a 200,000 yuan ($28,247) subsidy from the municipal department with the help of the district government at a critical point, which was big enough to pay 20 months of salaries to my 12 employees then,” he said.

In 2018 the company earned more than 200 million yuan and sold its products to about 50 countries and regions. These include the United States, Japan, Canada and Germany. Overseas markets contributed nearly 80 percent of annual revenue, according to the company’s figures.

In a sector that was once dominated by foreign companies, Yuan said the company now possesses 86 patents, including 23 invention patents. It aims to break the technical and market monopoly of the foreign competition and cut the prices of laboratory consumable products in the domestic market by 30-40 percent.

“We will take root in the district because the local government is highly efficient. It has carried out quite a few incentive policies to support the development of private companies and small and medium-sized enterprises. The subsidies and benefits the companies can apply for are clearly stipulated,” Yuan said.

The second phase of its industrial park, taking up an area of 160,000 square meters in GDD, started construction in March.

It is expected to become Asia’s largest manufacturing base for bio-laboratory consumable products, he added.

Located in eastern Guangzhou, capital of Guangdong province, GDD ranked first in terms of technological innovation. This was among all 219 State-level economic and technological development districts in China for 2018, according to an evaluation by the Ministry of Commerce.

The official figures indicate that the district has more than 20,000 innovative companies, of which at least 2,000 were credited as high-tech companies.

More than 80 percent of these high-tech companies are private companies and SMEs, and more than 80 percent of the invention patents, new technological achievements and new products in GDD are coming from private companies and SMEs, which have already been the major force for the district’s development.

GDD’s strength in innovation should be attributed to its strategy of emphasizing the development of private companies and SMEs, which the local government believes are flexible, dynamic capable of propping up the local economy. “The private companies and SMEs have served as new momentum to enhance the economic development quality of the district,” said Zhao Birong, deputy director of the industry and information technology bureau of Huangpu district.

In 2018, 93.4 percent of the 903 industrial companies in Huangpu with an annual industrial output of more than 20 million yuan each were private companies and SMEs, according to government statistics. They contributed 47 percent to the district’s total industrial output, up from 41.1 percent in 2017 and 37.2 percent in 2016.

They are mainly scattered in the strategic emerging industries in the district. They include automobile, electronic, energy, chemistry, electronic machinery, new-generation information technology, smart equipment, biomedicine and new materials. To energize private companies and SMEs, the district government issued 18 incentive measures in November 2018 to help with fund shortages, development transition and market exploration.

As one of the measures, the local government will coordinate an industry investment fund of 30 billion yuan. It will invite the participation of State-owned enterprises and support the growth of advanced manufacturing, modern service and strategic emerging industries.

The venture capital institutions that invest in private and SMEs in the seed stage and initial stage can get ample rewards, according to the new policy.

The local government will also set up a development fund with 10 billion yuan for private companies to solve their stock pledge and loan problems.

According to the measures, the government will help private companies and SMEs access a 30 billion yuan fund.

In it, the district government will subsidize companies for bank interests, guarantee costs and the interests of finance leasing.

The government also pledged to cut administrative costs, optimize customs’ clearance procedures, lower industrial land and housing costs and build more incubators.

Huayin Health Group, a third-party medical laboratory that focuses on medical examinations and diagnosis in GDD, got a fund of 23 million yuan due to its intellectual property recently.

In a trial move supported by the local government, Industrial Securities issued an asset-backed securitization bond in September. It aims to raise 301 million yuan for 11 private high-tech SMEs in GDD, including Huayin, based on their patent license fees.

“The faster a company develops, the bigger fund demands it will have,” said Huang Chunbo, founder and general manager of Huayin Health. “Besides equity and bond financing, banks are our major channel but intellectual property usually doesn’t work. They need fixed assets.”

The innovative funding attempt is a boon to high-tech SMEs with patents, which can solve financial problems and lower financing costs, he noted. Huang added that the government efforts should not be neglected.

Source: China Daily

[Open Guangzhou] Pazhou: a new height of the digital economy development in Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area

Pazhou’s Experimental Zone for Artificial Intelligence and Digital Economy (hereinafter referred to as the Pazhou Experimental Zone), sitting in the northeast of Haizhu district of Guangzhou and covering 12.5 square kilometers (excluding the Exhibition Area), comes from Guangdong province, Guangzhou and Haizhu District’s efforts to take the opportunities given by the development of the Guangdong – Hong Kong – Macao Greater Bay Area. It is regarded as the core area for helping support the construction of International Innovation and Technology Hub and Comprehensive National Science Center of the Greater Bay Area. The Pazhou Experimental Zone is devoted to establishing a pilot demonstration platform where the artificial intelligence and digital economy enjoy concentrated, innovative, cooperative, and integrated development. For now, the Haizhu district has formulated The Overall Plan for Establishing the Experimental Zone for Artificial Intelligence and Digital Economy in Pazhou which was passed after deliberation during Guangzhou’s the fourth meeting of the leading group for the construction of the Greater Bay Area.

Pazhou, as one of the core platforms in the Guangzhou-Shenzhen-Hong Kong-Macao Innovation Corridor, enjoys prominent geographical advantages since Zhujiang New Town and Guangzhou International Finance Center are just across river, thus making the “golden triangle” of economic development in the downtown area of Guangzhou. This area, covering Huangpu Ancient Port, a millennia-old trade port, and the Canton Fair Complex where the Canton Fair has been held for over 60 years. Neighboring Sun Yat-Sen University and Guangzhou Higher Education Mega Center, Pazhou, with high-end resources and key elements for technological innovation, is an incredible land for innovation and entrepreneurship.

Since June, 2015, the Pazhou Experimental Zone (the west zone) has brought in many leading corporations of artificial intelligence and digital economy such as Tencent, Alibaba, Gome, Vipshop, Xiaomi, Fosun, iFLYTEK, TCL, Rootcloud and so on, whose regional or even national headquarters will be settled here, with 21 major projects and the planned investment totaling 72.5 billion yuan. While these leading enterprises are building their headquarters, the industrial development is speeding. 99 projects and companies have been registered. In 2018, the main business income reached 18.242 billion yuan, an increase of 94.5 percent from last year, fixed asset investment was settled with ,8.312 billion yuan, 84.6 percent higher than the planned investment. The driving effect of leading corporations is accelerating, helping the form of an innovative industrial cluster led by digital economy at a fast pace, such as new generation of information technology, artificial intelligence, industrial internet. In recent years, new market entities of Pazhou has grown to 2000 to 3000 among which corporations take more than 80 percent.

While focusing on developing the west zone, Pazhou has established an international working team, and started urban design as well as planning and improvement of the middle and east zones. The southern area has also signed contracts and stored more than 144.67 hectares of land. A promising future is awaiting Pazhou in terms of industrial development.

Source: The Publicity Department of the CPC Haizhu District Committee

Nansha Station to be transportation hub of Greater Bay Area

The construction scheme of Guangzhou’s Nansha Railway Station on the Shenzhen-Maoming Railway was unveiled in September.

Nansha district is Guangzhou’s only access point to the sea, and is the hub linking Pearl River Delta’s urban cluster, Hong Kong, and Macao.

Benefiting from its unique geographic advantages, Nansha Railway Station has been set as the central transportation hub in the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area in the overall planning (2018-2035) for Guangzhou’s comprehensive transportation hubs released in January.

The Shenzhen-Jiangmen section of the Shenzhen-Maoming Railway, being 116.12 kilometers in length, is expected to start from Shenzhen’s Xili Railway Station and set up six stations linking Shenzhen Bao’an International Airport, Binhaiwan Bay Area in Dongguan, Nansha, Zhongshanbei Railway Station in Zhongshan, Henglan town in Zhongshan and Jiangmen.

Nansha Station is designed to include 14 platforms, as well as 30 tracks for arrival and departure. Various rail transit lines will pass Nansha Station in the future, including Guangzhou Metro Line 15 and 18, NS 1 Line of Nansha district, as well as the Ganzhou-Shenzhen passenger railway line.

A person in charge of the Nansha transportation bureau said that the construction of Nansha Station can enhance communication between the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area and other regions, as well as boost the spread of the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area to the Pan-Pearl River Delta region.

“The formation of the regional transportation hub will boost economic development and promote the establishment of a regional economic center,” said Hu Gang, professor from the School of Public Administration of Jinan University in Guangzhou.

“After the operation of the railway lines passing Nansha Station, Nansha will see more convenient transport to nearby areas such as downtown Guangzhou, Dongguan, Zhongshan, Zhuhai, and Shenzhen, which will accelerate the development of Nansha,” added Hu.

Source: eguangzhou.gov.cn

Strive for Excellence—the historic city never ceases to amaze the world

Guangzhou should reenergize itself by making new progress in integrating urban functions, enhancing soft power, and improving modern services and international business environment, said Xi Jinping, General Secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China, during his tour of Guangdong in October 2018.

Such a historic mission can only be accomplished through development. A host of significant platforms, including the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Comprehensive Cooperation Demonstration Zone based in Nansha District, the Sino-Singapore Guangzhou Knowledge City, and the Experimental Zone for Artificial Intelligence and Digital Economy in Pazhou, are under construction; the reform measures to increase institutional interconnectivity among Guangdong, Hong Kong, and Macao have been rolled out; upgrades for the second phase of Yongqing Fang, Guangzhou’s historic landmark, have been vigorously made; and the pilot programs that encourage small and medium companies to aim high are being launched. With arduous efforts, the southern Chinese city has never ceased to amaze the world.

Over the past year, Guangzhou, guided by the development plan for the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area, has stayed committed to developing itself into a national central city and a global metropolis. In doing so, the city aims to lead the country in building institutions for high-quality economic development, developing a modern economy, pursuing opening-up on all fronts and creating a social governance model based on collaboration, participation, and common interests, and serve as an important window for China to showcase to the world the achievements of reform and opening-up and for the international community to observe the progress of the endeavor.

Continuity and Reform: New Economic Drivers

How can Guangzhou have enjoyed such sustained growth for over two millennia? A quick look at the hustle and bustle of Yongqing Fang may provide a clue. Here, the captivating Cantonese opera, the elegant Xiguan, a traditional area of Guangzhou, and creative cultural products, among others, offer tourists a new flavor of Guangzhou.

A blend of Chinese and Western cultures, numerous ancient relics, and globally renowned intangible cultural heritage items such as Canton-opera, embroidery and painted enamel constitute the important soft power for Guangzhou to march forward and bestow the city with vitality and irreplaceable charm.

To the east stands the Canton Tower. On the night of September 25, 500 drones rose up in unison as sparkling miniatures of the Tower on Haixinsha Island, coinciding with the lighting show on the north side of the Pearl River Delta where Haizhu Square and the Flower City Square, the urban axles of the city, shone.

A host of Guangzhou’s historic and cultural landmarks along the 3-km-long traditional urban axle from Yuexiu Mountain to the Pearl River have in many ways demonstrated the uniqueness and charm of the millennia-old commercial city.

Building on past achievements, a 12-km-long modern urban axle stretching from the Yanling Park to Haixinsha Island, has emerged to reshape the skyline of Guangzhou and witness the transformative changes the city has made.

The two urban axles can both offer a panoramic view and reveal the promise of the city. Tianhe CBD on the Flower City Square has become a cluster of high-end industries in South China, including headquarter economy, finance, science and technology, and commerce, attracting 201 projects financed by the Fortune Global 500 companies with 62 buildings worth 100 million yuan each.

In the first three quarters of 2019, the top eight emerging industries of Guangzhou achieved an added value of 317.406 billion yuan, an increase of 7% over the previous year.

The launch of a number of high-end technology companies and projects, including CanSemi Technology and LG Display, is expected to create a multi-billion industrial cluster. With new driving forces and thriving industries, Guangzhou is set to take its quality development to a new high.

“A historic city features integration and inclusion, with a solid foundation on economic, social, urban development, and cultural fronts,” said Ou Jiangbo, director of the Institute of Quantitative Economics of the Guangzhou Academy of Social Sciences. On top of that, Guangzhou’s urban development is underpinned by its prime geographical location, strong industrial base, and booming business.

Guangzhou leads South China in the manufacturing and service sectors, covering the most categories of the two industries. Of the 41 industrial categories nationwide, the city has 35, with 70% in the service sector. An improved industrial foundation has enabled Guangzhou to gain an edge in modern services and accelerate the formation of a new industrial chain.

Xi’s remark that “private firms have contributed a lot to the national economy and enjoy a promising future” serves as a perpetual driver for private companies in Guangdong to innovate. “As a technology firm, we stay committed to innovation-driven development,” said Yao Weibing, president of Guangzhou MINO Automotive Equipment Co., Ltd., adding that its proprietary automatic drilling robot, the world’s first of its kind, would be introduced in South Africa and North America.

Opportunity and Cooperation with its neighboring cities

Guangzhou and Dongguan, a manufacturing hub in Guangdong, are interconnected than ever.

A bilateral meeting between the CPC municipal committees and governments of Guangzhou and Dongguan was conducted at the end of September 2019, resulting in the agreement signed by the two cities for deepening cooperation in some major areas and the framework agreement for strategic cooperation between Guangzhou Development Zone and the Dongguan Water Town Special Development Economic Zone.

This productive meeting is not the first in their bilateral cooperation. Guangzhou and the Dongguan Water Town Special Development Economic Zone share many land-based transport links, including the Guangzhou-Shenzhen Expressway and the Dongjiang Bridge. Beyond the Guangzhou-Dongguan-Shenzhen Intercity Railway, which is expected to operate soon, Guangzhou will have its eastern extension of Metro Line 5 to connect with Line 1 of Dongguan Metro.

Since last year, Guangzhou has signed strategic cooperation agreements with four cities in Guangdong—Foshan, Zhongshan, Qingyuan, and Dongguan, including intercity collaborative programs between Nansha and Cuiheng New Area, and between Sanlong Bay and Guangzhou South Railway Station.

Seizing opportunities for more vitality is the call of the times. In the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area, a land of hope, Guangzhou enjoys increasing company of partners which boast multiple transport links and a free flow of resources.

Seizing opportunities for more vitality is also needed for further development. To do this not just requires an overall design for this historic yet dynamic city to integrate with the Greater Bay Area development but also requires it to play its due role in the Area and break new grounds in some critical fields to make a leading contribution to the Greater Bay Area development.

The city will make new progress in enhancing comprehensive urban functions and strengthen the role of Guangzhou as the core engine for the development of the Greater Bay Area, both to attract industries, talent, research and development resources, technologies and capital and to extend its functions to its neighboring areas.

It will comprehensively enhance its role as the international commercial center. From the ancient Maritime Silk Road to the China Import and Export Fair (Canton Fair) today, trade and commerce has always been the core competitiveness of Guangzhou. In every session of the Canton Fair held in recent years, for example, the percentage of the purchasers from the Belt and Road countries and regions has reached 45 percent and over 8,000 enterprises from there have exhibited their products.

It will comprehensively strengthen its role as the integrated transport hub, such as Guangzhou-Shenzhen-Hong Kong Intercity Railway on the east bank of Pearl River, Guangzhou-Zhuhai Intercity Railway on the west bank and the intercity railways connecting Guangdong’s east to its west, and Guangzhou South Railway Station’s further links with the cities in the Pearl River Delta such as Foshan, Dongguan, and Huizhou, forming a ring-shaped transport network.

It will constantly enhance its role as the center of technology, education and culture. The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (Guangzhou) and the Pearl Science Park of the Chinese Academy of Sciences have officially begun their construction. These two key projects will deepen the collaboration among industries, universities and research institutes in the Greater Bay Area, and promote the scientific and technological innovation, industrial upgrading and quality development there.

Guangzhou has prioritized the implementation of the Outline Development Plan for the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area with the aim to build Guangzhou into an international metropolis, revitalize this historic city, and make new progress in the above-mentioned four aspects. Science, education, culture and modern services resources spread from Guangzhou to the Greater Bay Area via the convenient transport network and therefore promote the birth of a cluster of world-class cities in the region.

In the meantime, the synergy from the collaboration between Guangzhou and Shenzhen is enormous.

Early September 2019, Guangzhou and Shenzhen signed The Framework Agreement on Deepening the Strategic Cooperation between the two cities. The Agreement specified that they will deepen the cooperation in the following aspects: supporting Shenzhen in building itself into the demonstration pilot zone for socialism with Chinese characteristics; jointly building an international scientific and technological innovation center, an international integrated transport hub, a modern industrial system with international competitiveness, and a quality transport circle suitable for living, doing business and travelling; accelerating the building of a new regional development pattern constituted by “one core area, one coastal economic belt and one ecological development zone”; strengthening the cooperation between Nansha’s Demonstration Zone for Comprehensive Cooperation among Guangdong, Hong Kong and Macao and Qianhai’s Shenzhen-Hong Kong Modern Service Industry Cooperation Zone.

Both as the two first-tier cities within 100 kilometers and the central city and core engine for the development of the Greater Bay Area, Guangzhou and Shenzhen are charged with an important mission to boost the development of neighboring regions. Therefore, it is of great significance for both to better strengthen their cooperation to enhance their role as a core development engine and to join hands with Hong Kong and Macao for a world-class bay area and city cluster.

Reform and opening-up: the lifeblood of a dynamic city

The construction of Shenzhen-Zhongshan Bridge, spanning the Pearl River, is in full swing, which will create a new route to connect Nansha.

“It will help Nansha solve the problem of being at the geographic endpoint in transport, improve its position in the whole transport network of Pearl River Delta and build Nansha into a transport junction in the Greater Bay Area,” said Mr. Lin Jiang, professor at Sun Yat-sun University’s Lingnan College. As the only sub-center of Guangzhou, Nansha extends the urban function of Guangzhou to the estuary of Pearl River.

Nansha serves as a typical showcase of Guangzhou. Nansha is perfectly located in the core area of Pearl River Delta with a confluence of three rivers and links with South China Sea, the world’s busiest shipping route, via eight river entrances.

Openness represents the tradition of Guangzhou and also the essence of this city.

As an important starting point of the ancient Maritime Silk Road, Guangzhou opened the door to the rest of the world more than 2000 years ago.

The history of the Canton Fair is the epitome of China’s glorious course of opening up. An enormous number of Chinese enterprises have come and stood the test of the market at the Canton Fair. It is also here at the Fair that the global market has witnessed the strength of Chinese-made products.

Among the first batch of coastal cities open to the outside world, Guangzhou keeps unleashing the vitality generated by reform and opening up. National pilot zones for integrated supporting reforms, state-level new areas, and pilot free trade zone have been constructed and thrived in Guangzhou. Therefore, an open, all-round, multi-tiered and wide-ranging system of opening-up has taken shape in the city.

Guangzhou is well aware that deepening reform and opening-up remains a key for Guangzhou to make new progress at a higher starting point and higher level for a more ambitious goal. The top priority for the city now is how to take the lead in deepening reforms in business environment.

In the first half of 2019, the Measures on Further Optimizing the Business Environment of Guangzhou was officially promulgated. With the deepening of reform, the high administrative efficiency and quality services of Guangzhou have been appreciated by both domestic and foreign enterprises. It only took three days for Zurich Insurance Group and the Ace Group, both Fortune Global 500 companies, to finish the registration for their branch in Guangzhou; BeiGene started its construction here only 15 days after the signing of the contract. With a total investment of 61 billion yuan, Foxconn’s Gen 10.5 Display Industrial Park finished its negotiation and started the construction within only 100 days. It only took one year and a half for Guangdong’s only production line for 12-inch chips in CanSemi Technology to put into operation after it broke ground. Evaluating the reform by means of the efficiency of services to enterprises is the secret to Guangzhou’s success in business enhancement.

Making continuous progress in modernizing the internationalized business environment is the key to the vitality of this city. Henry Fok, a famous entrepreneur in Hong Kong, once described Guangzhou as follows: “If you want to know what opening-up is like, go and find the answer in Guangzhou.” In order to keep improving the business environment of Guangzhou, it needs to make bigger strides to align itself with the rules and regulations of global investment and trade in addition to further improving administrative efficiency.

What Guangzhou is today is attributed to its incorporation of opening-up into the mindset of its people and of the implementation of reform into every innovative measure for development.

The Key Points for Guangzhou to Comprehensively Deepen Reform in 2019 published this April specifies 209 reform items covering 40 categories in 11 fields. Among them 60 projects were selected with top priority in 2019.

Only reformers can move forward, only innovators can gain strength, and only innovative reformers can finally win out. Only a city firmly dedicated to reform and opening-up can build on its rich historical heritage and embrace a bright future featuring integrated and high quality development.

Source: Nanfang Daily