“China’s door will never be closed. Great efforts should be made to promote all-around opening-up as well as trade and investment liberalization and facilitation,” an official said when participating in the discussion of Guangzhou Delegation during the lately concluded 12th Guangdong Congress of the CPC, pointing out that Guangzhou should accelerate the construction of the new open economic system, establish a rule system meeting international norms as well as introduce more high-quality foreign businesses and projects to boost the internationalized development of the city and build Nansha into a high-level portal and hub for opening-up.
Guangzhou will host the 2017 Fortune Global Forum at the end of this year. Then, a great number of senior executives of Fortune 500 enterprises are expected to congregate in the city. The goal of Guangzhou is not only to host international events, but also to take part in cooperative global governance to provide solutions for global economic development based on the “Guangzhou practice”.
Achievements in building Nansha into a high-level portal and hub for opening-up
A total of 74 projects invested by Fortune 500 enterprises and 103 headquarters enterprises have been attracted to Nansha, while nearly 1,000 enterprises funded by Hong Kong and Macao investors have settled down in Nansha.
All the world’s top 21 liner operators provide international services in Nansha.
The customs clearance rate has reached more than 50%.
The total imports and exports of cross-border e-business reached RMB3.69 billion in 2016, up 1.3 times year-on-year.
Build Nansha into a high-level portal and hub for opening-up
As the sub-center of Guangzhou, Nansha plays an increasingly highlighted supporting role in Guangzhou’s construction of a new open economic system as well as a global resource allocation center. Since established in April 21, 2015, the Nansha New Area, as part of the China (Guangdong) Pilot Free Trade Zone, have become an experimental field for Guangdong to speed up construction of high-level opening-up portals and hubs. A series of reform and innovation programs have been launched here.
Over the past two years, Nansha has made remarkable achievements in relying on innovation to promote the construction of the pilot free trade zone. A total 239 reform and innovation projects have seen a success. Nansha provides valuable experience that can be emulated at city, provincial and even national levels. For example, 13 projects provided experience that can be emulated at national level, while 56 projects provided experience that can be emulated at provincial level. Moreover, by establishing institutional systems meeting common international rules on investment and trade as well as building an internationalized business environment, Guangzhou has shown preliminary effect of concentration of international resources and high-level talents.
Based on science and technology innovation and construction of international shipping center
From a global perspective, Nansha has been striving to continuously deepen trade liberalization and facilitation to develop a high-level portal and hub for opening-up.
After the Guangdong Congress of the CPC, Nansha announced the brand-new “1+1+10” industrial policy system, which is honored a “global talent assembly bugle”. The new policies will provide systematic support for the development of seven major industries in Nansha, including headquarters economy, innovative science and technology, advanced manufacturing and modern services. The policies also cover high-end talents, land for industrial purposes and project recommendation. In addition, tailored policy support will be provided for enterprises and projects with great contributions.
In early May, it was confirmed that the Microsoft (Guangzhou) Cloud Technology and Mobile Application Incubation Platform would be set up in Nansha to develop artificial intelligence (AI) technologies based on the solid industrial foundation of Nansha. With the platform, Nansha will become a new highland for the development of AI industry. Later, a national-level high-end think tank, namely the “Belt & Road” Research Institute of the NDRC International Cooperation Center, was inaugurated in Nansha. In early June, the International Finance Forum (IFF) jointly with Nansha launched the Nansha International Finance Island project, which allows Nansha to become the first international finance island of China.
Guangzhou becomes a “partner” of top international exchange platforms
Guangzhou’s international positioning has become even more clear over years. The city has become an important international exchange center with an increasing number of international conferences and events hosted with improved level and scale. It has transferred from a “bystander” to a “participant” and “partner”.
In terms of conferences and exhibitions, Guangzhou has supported a number of high-grade professional exhibitions to grow stronger, vigorously introduced internationally renowned convention and exhibition institutions, and facilitated settlement of GL Events China Headquarters in Guangzhou. In terms of the international conferences, Guangzhou has built a pyramid-shaped international conference system to bid for hosting state-level leadership summits while encouraging industrial and professional international conference to be held in Guangzhou. The city has held nearly 50 high-end international conventions from 2015 to 2016.
More importantly, Guangzhou has circulated Guangzhou stories through various channels by tapping the friendly cooperation ties with leading international exchange platforms such as World Economic Forum, Fortune Global Forum, Bo’ao Forum for Asia and United Cities and Local Governments (ULCG). It has attended Summer Davos and Winter Davos for five times. During the Summer Davos last year, the city has carried out nearly 100 exchanges, reached intent of cooperation for 24 projects which involved about RMB21 billion of investment.
Guangzhou’s friend base is growing larger. It has maintained trade contacts with more than 220 countries and regions, and established friendly ties with 65 cities, 38 ports and more than 120 regional NGOs or institutions. It is home to 59 consulates-general from foreign countries. The city has acted as co-chair of UCLG for four sessions and the first co-chair of World Association of Major Metropolises and facilitated establishment of its Asia-Pacific Liaison Office in Guangzhou. This year it has planned to establish offices in the Silicon Valley, Boston and Tel Aviv, successfully host 2017 Fortune Global Forum, China Bio-Industry Convention, China Network Investment Annual Meeting and other events to gear into the international innovation chain.
It is noteworthy that Guangzhou has not only built stages for the international conventions, but also acted as a “leading role” on the stage to form “Guangzhou Brand” of international conventions. Guangzhou International Award for Urban Innovation (Guangzhou Award) is one of the best representatives. It is the highest award for the international innovation created by Guangzhou and has attracted attentions and active participation from cities across the globe. In 2016, 301 valid projects from 171 cities of 59 countries and regions shared their urban innovation experiences at the 3rd Guangzhou Award.
“Guangzhou Convention” has also injected fuel for the city’s development. The Fortune Global Forum 2017 is scheduled to stage Guangzhou from December 6 to 8. According to the Foreign Affairs Office of Guangzhou, it is a specific measure and a good opportunity of development for building Guangzhou into the international exchange center, international aviation center, international shipping center and international scientific and technological innovation center to host the Fortune Global Forum. With this opportunity, Guangzhou will make the world to have a better understanding of the city, finally enable settlement and gathering of international high-end resources and elements in the city, add new impetus and create new advantages for the city’s economic development.
The biggest difference from the previous Fortune Global Forum is that this session is to be held in the midst of a global economic downturn. Hosting the Fortune Global Forum not only enables Guangzhou to learn more about the world, but also provides an important way for the city to participate in the global cooperation and governance, and present its stories on globalization to the world, said renowned economist David Li. Today China is to provide “Chinese Plan” for the world economic development. For Guangzhou, it will properly interpret such principles with itself as an example. For example, by means of hosting Fortune Global Forum, Guangzhou gives an example of the city on how enterprises here go global, how these enterprises drive GDP growth of other countries and increase jobs in such countries so as to provide more materials and texture for greater principles.
High-end industries flood in Guangzhou
Guangzhou’s high-level opening up can also be attributed to its open mindset and strength. In February 2016 the State Council approved by principle Guangzhou Master Plan (2011-2020). In the plan, Guangzhou is positioned as the capital of Guangdong Province, the national historical and cultural city, important central city of China, international commercial and trade center and comprehensive transportation hub. Over the past six years, Guangzhou has been rated the first of the Best Commercial Cities in the Chinese Mainland by Forbes for five times. Today 288 of Fortune 500 corporations have invested here, and 120 of them have located their headquarters or regional headquarters in the city.
At present Guangzhou has started with the hub-type network city construction to implement the IAB (new generation information technology, artificial intelligence and biomedicine) industrial plan and introduce a batch of IAB strategic projects, modern service projects and advanced manufacturing projects. It has made efforts to lure more leading projects which have the driving effect for the whole industrial chain so as to promote development of the whole industrial chain, form new economic increments, build a high-end, high-quality and high-tech modern industrial system and lead the future development of the city with construction of the three strategic hubs.
Guangzhou is an international shipping and aviation hub. Grasping the important opportunities of the construction of the “Belt and Road” and the Pilot Free Trade Zone, Guangzhou has, based on Nansha New Area, made arrangement to construct the international shipping center and enhance gathering of global shipping resources. Guangzhou Port has opened 150 container liner routes, connecting with more than 400 ports from over 100 countries and regions. In 2016 it handled 544 million tons of cargo, and 18.85 million TEUs, ranking the world’s 6th and 7th position. Baiyun International Airport has opened 149 international routes. In 2016 its passenger traffic reached 59.78 million people, cargo throughput 1.638 million tons, ranking the world’s 16th and 19th. The World Route Development Conference 2018 is scheduled to stage Guangzhou.
Meanwhile, Guangzhou has made efforts to improve cooperation with countries involving the “Belt and Road” initiative. In the first two months this year, Guangzhou’s imports and exports with countries involving the “Belt and Road” initiative reached RMB43.67 billion, up 38.5%, higher than the general foreign trade level. By the end of 2016, Guangzhou enterprises totally invested and established 166 enterprises (institutions) in countries covered by the “Belt and Road” initiative, with contracted investment of US$2.407 billion (in 2016 alone, Guangzhou enterprises totally invested and set up 31 enterprises and institutions, and the contracted investment from Chinese party reached US$805 million).