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China's Zhuhai defines city of innovation in emerging technologies

Updated: 2018-07-06

Editor's note: Zhuhai's role as an emerging innovative tech hub was highlighted in the July 4 issue of Handelsblatt, a leading German business publication. Key message of the advertorial is as follows.

On July 2, the 4th China-Israel Investment Summit was held in the southern Chinese city of Zhuhai, attracting some 5,000 innovators, entrepreneurs and figures from political and business communities across the world. At the event, over 2,000 companies in fields such as intelligent manufacturing and biomedicine engaged in industrial exchanges and dialogues on possible cooperation, and 17 innovation-oriented projects were signed and kicked off. With China’s new development initiative for the Guangdong, Hong Kong and Macao Greater Bay Area and the promotion of a new round of reform and opening-up, Zhuhai is now enjoying innovation-driven development with stronger momentum.

The competition among global cities in technological innovation today is more than fierce. Yet, Zhuhai has put in place an open and interconnected mechanism for technological innovation that attracts numerous international high-tech companies and projects. As experts view it, apart from the increasingly open market in China and the appealing natural environment in Zhuhai, the city's policy incentives for innovation and much improved environment for investment in recent years have also contributed to its success.

As a pioneer of reform and opening-up, Zhuhai boasts an excellent open policy, an internationalized business environment. What's more, with its strategic plan to take the lead in innovation within the Greater Bay Area, also known as China's Silicon Valley, it has become both a gateway for global high-end companies to enter the Chinese market and an aggregation area for them. Now the city, dedicated to innovation-driven quality development, is expanding the market through new industries. It is also further improving its investment environment through making it a global incubator for technology and home to innovative talents from around the world.

The Hengqin New Area, a part of China (Guangdong) Pilot Free Trade Zone and Zhuhai's forefront of opening-up, gathers more than 5,000 global companies or projects such as Leica Camera China headquarters and the Google Adwords. The Hengqin Entrepreneurship Valley for Macao Youth in the FTZ’s 150,000-square-meter incubator, for example, has incubated 250 projects in just three years since its setup. With the coming operation of the sea-crossing Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macao Bridge, there will be further enhanced cooperation between Zhuhai and global science and technology industries. International collaborative innovation platforms, including the Zhuhai (Israel) Innovation Center and the China-Israel Accelerator Industrial Park, are to be set up by this year.

 "To emerging industries and companies, Zhuhai is the ideal city for those dedicated to innovation and R&D," says Jiang Guibin, CEO of Zhuhai Enpower Electric. His company has independently developed its electric vehicle motor control systems, enjoying 90% market share for low-speed electric vehicles and 35% for all-electric passenger vehicles in China.

Growth in innovation would not have been possible without a set of well-designed measures. Guo Yonghang, Secretary of the CPC Zhuhai Municipal Committee, stated that the city should comprehensively deepen institutional reforms to rigorously protect intellectual property rights, and create a good environment for innovation and business, with more systematic and collaborative policies. The China-Israel IPR Trade Platform, established at this Investment Summit, will provide cross-border asset trading, service transactions, and IPR pledge financing.

Zhuhai has also worked out a number of globally attractive policies to better serve high-tech firms by offering a greater business environment and support for human resources. For the latter, the city's "Talent Scheme" attracts Nobel Prize winners or academicians from developed countries with a grant of 2 million yuan and a housing allowance of 6 million. An innovation team in strategic emerging industries here may receive up to 100 million yuan in funding from the Scheme.

A global platform to facilitate upstream innovation is taking shape here. The city is attracting great brains in the field of big data, especially world-class scientists from Oxford University in building its Big Data Institute to serve as a prime driver for innovation application and industrial clustering to boost the strength of local emerging companies in innovation.

The combination of efficient innovation incubator and policy incentives makes Zhuhai a bonanza of innovation for international innovators. According to Zhang Gengtian, research director of McKinsey & Company's Urban China Initiative (UCI), the ability to innovate and its cultivation will be the key to a city's sustainable development. Considering social, economic, resource, and environmental factors, Zhuhai has made impressive headway in promoting innovation and it is expected to be the "third pole" of innovation in Guangdong Province after Shenzhen and Guangzhou.



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