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Guangzhou: leading city in shaping urban innovation ecosystem — “Guangzhou Night” event ignites the Summer Davos

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by September 21, 2018 General

GUANGZHOU, China, Sept. 20, 2018 /Xinhua-AsiaNet/– On the evening of September 19, the “Guangzhou Night” event, featuring the Lingnan culture, was held on the sidelines of World Economic Forum’s Annual Meeting of the New Champions 2018 (Summer Davos) in Tianjin, northern China.

It is the fourth year in a row that the Guangzhou government has presented the city at the Summer Davos, which was held under the theme of “Shaping Innovative Societies in the Fourth Industrial Revolution” this year. At the Guangzhou Night, with a theme of “Dynamic Guangzhou for the World”, the city demonstrated its vitality and diversity as well as modern technological innovation to some 400 guests from Davos.

The night witnessed an astonishing debut of South China Commercial Capital, a grand 3D animation scroll on Guangzhou’s history. It was hailed as Lingnan’s “Along the River During the Qingming Festival”, a renowned Chinese painting. All the elements of Guangzhou’s culture and innovation caught the eye of the audience and showed a technological Guangzhou with Lingnan features.

“Guangzhou represents a core city in promoting the Belt and Road Initiative and constructing the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area. It enjoys a time-honored history and culture, and boasts an efficient transportation system and an influx of innovative resources. Hopefully we all can share the opportunities provided by a thriving Guangzhou in a new era,” addressed Guangzhou’s mayor Wen Guohui at the event.

In China, the regional innovation ecosystem is being shaped. The practices of urban innovation led by Guangzhou, Shenzhen, Hangzhou, etc., will help make China an innovative economy. Guangzhou, due to its cultural diversity, has fostered an inclusive and innovation-friendly atmosphere and has thrived, from a millennium-old business city to an international hub. Even today, innovation remains a thrust for the hub city to connect the rest of China and beyond.

Cedar Holdings represents a Guangzhou-based home-grown private company in the Fortune Global 500 list. As an enterprise of the modern smart supply chain, Cedar has led the world by taking initiative to go global. Experts say it is the epitome of how Guangzhou has carried out the strategy of innovation-driven development to unleash vitality of a new economy and enhance innovation capacity during the past 40 years of China’s reform and opening-up.

“As the cradle of enterprises, Guangzhou boasts the most favorable climate for private companies and for innovation,” said Zhang Jin, Cedar’s president and founder and representative of the new champions.

In 2017, Guangzhou unveiled its strategy on IAB (information technology, artificial intelligence and biomedicine). Thanks to its location advantage, solid industrial base and scientific and technological innovation strength, the city saw a rapid growth of emerging industries. The clustering of innovative enterprises is speeding up here.

The Chinese startup JingChi, which was previously founded in Silicon Valley, the US, relocated its headquarters to Guangzhou last December. In May this year, the smart mobility company, managed to convert the GE3 EV model of GAC (Guangzhou Automobile Group Co., Ltd.) into a self-driving version and put it on the road. “Guangzhou is home to two of the Top 3 self-driving companies in China. We are making marked progress here and will advance the China-developed self-driving technology in ways to change the way people travel,” said Zhang Li, vice president of operation at JingChi.

Openness and diversity have been the bedrock of an innovation ecosystem that Guangzhou is shaping. For three consecutive years, Guangzhou has ranked third among domestic cities by the number of China’s Top 50 innovative companies it hosts. It has now housed 286 incubators and 181 maker spaces, with an area of more than 10 million square meters.

Another innovative startup Pony.ai, which is based in Nansha New Area, Guangzhou, has conducted successful road tests for its self-driving cars in California, the US. “We value the cultivation of local innovative enterprises,” said Xie Xiaohui, secretary of Investment and Trade Promotion Bureau of Guangzhou Nansha Development Zone. “On tops of the combustible ice project, a number of futuristic companies like AI Robotics have settled here.”

“The policy to support industrial leaders that Guangzhou carried out has offered us much financial support at our start-up stage,” said Jia Pengcheng, president of Guangzhou Starway Communication firm.

Metro check-in with mobile payment, facial recognition at airport security check, making a doctor appointment on WeChat… These have become part of people’s daily life in Guangzhou. Facing a new round of global technological revolution, the city is striving to seize the initiative. It will promote innovation and foster a sound technology-oriented climate.

Innovation promotes industrial upgrading and boosts the economy of a city. The just-released economic data show that in the first half of 2018, Guangzhou’s GDP reached 1.0653 trillion RMB (155.5 billion USD), an increase of 6.2% over the same period of 2017.

Today, Guangzhou has become a regular venue for global talents in technological innovation, with grand events like the Fortune’s Brainstorm Tech, China Innovation Conference and China Innovation and Entrepreneurship Fair permanently settling here. An atmosphere to attract innovative resources, start a business and make innovations is being fostered in Guangzhou.

The Report on Chinese City Business Environment 2017 released by the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area Institute shows that Guangzhou ranked first in terms of the business environment, and it was one of the most outstanding cities in the 2017 report on the business environment of global cities.

With a leading innovation ecosystem, Guangzhou has seen rapid economic and social development. According to the Global Urban Competitiveness Report 2017-2018, Guangzhou ranks 15th by the global economic competitiveness index.

“Guangzhou is acting as a new drive for China’s economic growth and has become one of the centers of the global economy. Numerous global firms intend to jointly work with the city in constructing the Greater Bay Area,” said Klaus Schwab, Executive Chairman of the World Economic Forum.

SOURCE: The People’s Government of Guangzhou Municipality

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