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Guangzhou Development District: rising core area of international scientific and technological innovation hub

Source: Agencies | Updated : 2017-03-17

In 2017, at the night of Chinese Lantern Festival, the high-tech firework show presented by 1,000 UAVs of EHang Intelligent Technology Co Ltd in Haixinsha Square — the center of Guangzhou development district, broke the record of Guinness World Records, and it also turned UAV into a carrier of new forms of art performance.

Apart from formation flight, the first fully automated manned aircraft of low-altitude flight in the world — EHang 184 also attracted attention from the industry insiders. In the meeting of World Government Summit on February 13th, 2017, the director of the Urban Roads and Transport Department of Dubai announced that EHang 184 will be served as UAV taxi, and the trail run will be operated in July. This is only the epitome of Guangzhou Development District devoting itself to developing advanced manufacturing and strategic emerging industries and actively building itself into the Pearl River Delta National Independent Innovation Demonstration Area and core area of Guangzhou International Science and Technology Innovation Hub.


The world's first passenger drone, made by Guangzhou-based Ehang Intelligent Technology, takes to the skies above Guangzhou. [Photo provided to China Daily]

Located in eastern Guangzhou, Guangzhou Development District is seated in the heartland of Guangzhou-Hong Kong-Macao Golden Delta and the Pearl River Delta. It is approved as the first batch of 14 state-level economic and technological development zones. Over the past 30 years, Guangzhou Development District started in a wasteland of banana forest by the side of Pearl River, rapidly developed into the driving force for Guangzhou's economic development, new engine of Guangdong’s industrial transforming and upgrading, and the new benchmark of the China's reform and opening-up.

Guangzhou Development District (GDD) is approved by the State Council as National Self-Dependent Innovation Demonstration Area in the Pearl River Delta, National Regional Innovation and Entrepreneurship Demonstration Base, the only national comprehensive reform pilot of utilizing and protecting intellectual property rights, and the first batch of pilot areas for Sino-EU and Sino-Israel cooperation. It established Electronic & Telecommunication park, New Materials park, and other 18 state-level industrial bases and parks. GDD also formed three hundred-billion industrial clusters in terms of electronics, automotive and chemical, and four 50-billion industrial clusters in terms of chemical, new materials, food and beverage, metal manufacturing, and bio-medicine; cultivated six innovation oriented industrial clusters including intelligent equipment, new generation of information and technology, flat panel display, new materials, biomedicine and e-commerce, whose industrial output in total has taken up one third of the municipal industrial output. GDD is one of the largest growth poles and power sources of Guangzhou's development in the next five and even 10 years.

GDD is a demonstration window for China's opening-up. The district gathered more than 3,400 foreign-funded enterprises, and 135 projects invested by the world's top 500 enterprises. It attracted many well-known US companies, including P&G, Amway, Coca-Cola, PepsiCo, Jabil Group, and Baxter. Per incomplete statistics, the number of US-funded projects here exceeds 40 whose total investment is about $40 billion, which makes GDD the area that attracts most concentrated investment from US-funded enterprises in South China.

GDD encourages enterprises in this district to go abroad and participate in global competition and cooperation. For example, Guangzhou Leafun Culture Science and Technology Co Ltd is the major shareholder of Leyard Group. In August 2015, Leyard Group and Planar Systems Inc (globally leading display and digital signage system supplier) announced that they have reached a definitive M&A agreement. In January 2017, Leyard Group successfully acquired 100 percent stake of Naturalpoint Inc which is the global leader of optical tracking and motion capture solutions for $125 million in the name of Leyard Group US Planar Systems Inc. 

GDD is the base of innovation and entrepreneurship for the first batch of China's overseas high-level talents, and has gathered 62 talents of "China Thousand Talents Program" and 68 leading personnel in science and technology, more than 3,000 overseas returned students, and over 1,000 enterprises. GDD has become the district that attracts most intensive resources of talents in the southern part of China. The Convention on Exchange of Overseas Talents and the Guangzhou Convention of Overseas Chinese Scholars and Technology that firstly launched in 1998 in this district has become the largest and the most influential overseas talent exchange platform at highest level in China. The biggest incentive that GDD is able to grant to innovation and entrepreneurship is 45.8 million yuan. In 2016, GDD set up 12 overseas talents workshops to build up a global network to attract talents in the United States (including Silicon Valley, Washington DC, San Francisco, and New York, Japan and other countries.

This is a high-end platform of innovation and entrepreneurship. Sino-Singapore Guangzhou Knowledge City is the demonstration project for cooperation between Guangdong province and Singapore. The planning area covers 123 square kilometers. It focuses on developing a new generation of information and technology, culture and creativity, science and education services and other industries to accelerate the development of industries such as new energy and energy-saving, new materials, life and health.

The planning area of Huangpu Port Economic Zone is 42 square kilometers, of which the water area is 15 square kilometers. It focuses on the development of commercial circulation, shipping, port headquarters, business and leisure, cultural tourism, cruise (yacht) economy and other modern service industry. Besides, it is the second central business district (CBD) that Guangzhou is constructing. As the main park of Guangzhou High-Tech Zone, the planning area of Guangzhou Science City is 37.47 square kilometers, and its cumulative investment is more than 190 billion yuan. It has gathered more than 3,000 technology companies, over 500 scientific research institutions, and built the largest incubator accelerator cluster in South China. Guangzhou International Biological Island is the core area of Guangzhou National Biological Industry Base, and it covers an area of 1.83 square kilometers. At present, it has accumulated a total investment of 9.35 billion yuan, established a platform for Sino-British cooperation and Sino-Israel cooperation.

GDD owns a world-class investment environment for innovation and entrepreneurship. "All for the investors, and all for the enterprises. We're devoted to providing the best service and the best environment, so that investors get maximum returns." The district respects for the growth of science and technology enterprises and improves the science and technology innovation system and talent policy system continually. The director support funds for the scientific and technological innovation and the introduction of talents has reached 1.3 billion yuan.


Guangzhou's Development District is becoming a core area for innovation in science and technology. [Photo provided to China Daily]

Earlier in 2017, the Guangzhou Development District took the lead in releasing four industrial policies to support the development of advanced manufacturing industry, modern service industry, headquarter economy and high-tech industry, each policy consists of 10 articles which were favorably known as the four "Gold 10" and GDD has increased fiscal budget by 2.2 billion yuan for this program. In addition, in order to create a more convenient investment environment, GDD took the lead to innovate its management system by conducting an in-depth reform from three aspects including the approval formalities, enterprise service, and intelligent supervision, so as to ensure the incentive can be granted to investor's pocket within 34 working days.

Standing at a new historical starting point, as the core area of Guangzhou International Science and Technology Innovation Center, Guangzhou Development District is vigorously implementing three strategies, i.e. innovation-driven development, open cooperation and promotion, environmental optimization, so as to store energy and power for Guangzhou to participate in international competition and cooperation.

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