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Value innovation parks to upgrade, transform local economy

By Tang Zhihao | Source: China Daily | Updated : 2018-04-02

Guangzhou Development District has put its full support behind developing a new kind of industrial parks, called value innovation parks, to speed up the upgrading and transformation of the local economy.

The innovation-driven industrial parks were the focus of discussion when the GDD hosted a sub-forum at the 2018 Guangzhou Annual Investment Conference on March 28.

Five such parks, covering 21 square kilometers, are located in the GDD's Sino-Singapore Guangzhou Knowledge City. They focus on the development of state-of-the-art technology in the sectors of artificial intelligence, biomedicine, new energy and materials, next-generation information technology, and innovation project incubation.


Government officials, urban planners and corporate executives share their insights into the development of "value innovation parks" at a forum in Guangzhou, Guangdong province on Wednesday. Jia Zihao / For China Daily

At the sub-forum, government officials, urban planners and representatives from companies including heavyweight multinationals GE and Siemens took part to share their opinions on the development of the parks.

Hua Hong, deputy chief engineer at the fifth urban planning and design department in the Guangzhou Urban Planning & Design Survey Research Institute, said that what differentiates these new industrial parks from traditional ones is that they integrate the entire industrial chain under one roof.

"It will be a place that allows balanced development between production, life and ecology," Hua said. "It will also be a gathering place for premier resources in capital, technologies and professionals."

Leading companies will take a significant part in supporting the development of all involved, the chief engineer added.

At the innovation park dedicated to next-generation IT, 13 percent of its land area has been used to construct residential property and supporting facilities, while 40 percent is planned to be used for production.

Hong Qian, deputy district head of Huangpu district, where the GDD is located, has long been committed to developing a mechanism to support high-quality economic development.

The five parks, which will center on leading companies such as GE and Siemens, will play a significant role in supporting the growth of the local economy, Hong said.

"By developing those parks, we hope to build a new type of industrial gathering platform in the SSGKC, so the GDD can take a leading role in supporting global city development," Hong said.

"We also hope to explore a new industrial development path, which can support the construction of the Guangzhou-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area."

Leading companies such as GE, Siemens and Boston Consulting Group have decided to launch operations in the industrial parks. Their presence has become a key driver for businesses along the industrial chain to invest in the district.

In the biomedicine park, GE, which holds a strong position in the healthcare sector, is building factories. GE's presence has attracted BeiGene, a company specializing in the development of cancer treatment technology, to seal a 2.2 billion yuan ($349.26 million) investment project with the district.

In the next-generation IT park, industry giants such as China Unicom, China Telecom and Siemens have moved in.

Figures from local authorities show that the total investment in China Unicom's internet application innovation base, located in the park, will reach 3.3 billion yuan.

China Telecom also plans to invest 3.7 billion yuan to construct an innovation incubation facility in the district.

Apart from traditional industrial leaders, some startups with strong technological development capabilities see the district as an ideal investment destination.

JingChi, a mobility company established in April 2017, which focuses on AI and autonomous driving, settled its headquarters in the district in 2017.

"There are positive prospects for Guangzhou's IT, AI and biomedicine industries," said Han Yu, CEO of JingChi. "The government's support is a key factor that attracts me."

To ensure that along with the investment come good people, local companies have urged the district government to pay close attention to attracting professionals and maintaining training.

Li Qing, Greater China general manager of GE Healthcare, suggested that the district release more favorable policies to bring in high-level professionals and support the development of local universities.

"To maintain sustainable development, Guangzhou has to build top-level universities and become a top city in attracting professionals," Li said.

The GDD has vowed to continue to take measures to attract high-caliber professionals. Currently there are 83 experts working in the area that have been included in the Thousand Talents Plan, a national recruitment program.

According to local officials, the GDD has established a talent pool comprised of more than 300 industrial professionals.

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