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Investment conference puts Guangzhou in the spotlight

By YUAN SHENGGAO| Source: China Daily | Updated : 2022-08-30

Online and offline event attended by Fortune Global 500 companies and State-owned enterprises alike to concentrate on economic offerings

The eighth China Guangzhou Investment Annual Conference and the first Global Unicorn CEO Forum kick off on Aug 30 in Guangzhou, Guangdong province, with the goal of injecting new impetus into the city's economic growth.

This year, the event is conducted both online and offline, and has attracted more than 700 guests from 44 countries and regions. Among the guests are those from more than 300 Fortune Global 500 companies as well as State-owned and unicorn enterprises including China Resources, China Gold, Swire, Hyundai Motor, AstraZeneca, Panasonic, Sabic, Unilever, Louis Dreyfus, Mitsubishi and Cambricon Technologies.

For the first time, a global unicorn CEO forum is held together with the annual conference. Several parallel forums focusing on themes such as consumption, advanced manufacturing, and biopharmaceuticals, as well as software service and green economy, are held for global unicorn CEOs to discuss hot-button issues including current economic trends and the application of new technologies for innovation and entrepreneurship.

According to organizers of the event, nine overseas sessions have been held including the ones in Silicon Valley of the United States, Tel Aviv of Israel, Berlin and Heidelberg of Germany, Minsk of Belarus, Tashkent of Uzbekistan, Tokyo of Japan and Singapore in the past few months, making the favorable business environment of Guangzhou and the latest investment and trade policies more extensively known globally.


The night view of Guangzhou, Guangdong province. CHINA DAILY

During the event, a contract signing ceremony will be held for several major investment projects involving strategic emerging industries such as advanced manufacturing, automobiles, new-generation information technology, modern commerce and new energy in Guangzhou.

For the first time, an agreement will be signed with the Hurun Research Institute for cooperation in the unicorn list and fund.

Since the beginning of this year, Guangzhou has made concerted efforts to innovate investment promotion. It has also carried out key initiatives for pillar industries and target investors.

In the first half of this year, 869 projects were registered in the city, a year-on-year increase of 48.8 percent, according to official statistics.

From January to June, the city's paid-in foreign capital was 32.62 billion yuan ($4.71 billion), a year-on-year increase of 6.1 percent.

The paid-in foreign capital in the manufacturing industry increased by 83.6 percent year-on-year. Massive foreign-invested projects continued to play a leading role, more than 80 percent of which involved paid-in foreign capital exceeding $50 million.

From January to July, the city's paid-in foreign capital was some 36.27 billion yuan, a year-on-year increase of 10.6 percent. The actual use of foreign capital in the manufacturing industry achieved a substantial increase, an increase of 1.2 times year-on-year.

Guangzhou is an important destination for South Korean investors.

Yoon Jin-young, a team leader of LG Display High-Tech (China), said: "Thanks to China's huge consumer market and Guangzhou's continuous and stable industrial policies, we are growing at a rate of investing in one factory every five years."

"Hyundai Motor's first overseas hydrogen hyphenate system production, research and development and sales base, HTWO Guangzhou, will be completed in the Guangzhou Development District by the end of this year, with an estimated total investment of 8.5 billion yuan," said Oh Seung-chan, president of HTWO Guangzhou.


Representatives attend the signing ceremony of the China Guangzhou Annual Investment Conference in March 2021. CHINA DAILY

Oh said the project will further strengthen cooperation with local enterprises.

In addition, Hyundai Motor has planned to introduce one of the world's best-selling hydrogen-fueled SUV, the Nexo, into the Chinese market in the second half of this year.

According to Shao Jingbo, deputy director of Guangzhou Development District's administrative committee, there are 138 South Korean-funded enterprises in the district alone, with a total investment of $5.75 billion.

Despite all the challenges including the COVID-19 pandemic in recent years, the city of Guangzhou has managed to keep the high-quality development of its open economy on track, according to Hong Qian, chief of the Guangzhou commerce bureau.

In 2021, both the city's total retail sales of consumer goods and the total import and export of goods exceeded 1 trillion yuan, making Guangzhou one of the three cities that notched up to that height, with the other two being Beijing and Shanghai, official statistics indicate.

Guangzhou has actively involved itself in the Belt and Road Initiative and has been unlocking Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership for business opportunities in recent years.

The city has also made good use of internationally prestigious platforms like the World Economic Forum for closer business relations with international industry leaders, many of which, including GE, Merck and Thermo Fisher, have launched new projects in Guangzhou in recent years. Guangzhou will continue to promote reform and innovation, and take the lead in cultivating and building an international consumption center city, the official said. The city has obtained the license for bonded bunkering for international ships and also become one of the first group of national supply chain innovation and application demonstration cities.

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