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Qingdao to spur innovation by building more R&D centers

By Xie Chuanjiao  (China Daily)

16:03, October 11, 2012

In order to accelerate its transformation into a powerhouse of innovation, Qingdao is taking multiple measures to attract world-class research and development facilities from all over the globe, especially regional R&D centers of Fortune 500 enterprises.

Recently, the Ministry of Science and Technology lifted the limits on foreign investment in research areas to encourage more overseas companies to build technical centers in China.

Following the ministry's cues, Qingdao will take the lead by opening relative markets and launching its own incentives for companies to locate innovation centers there, ensuring that foreign companies enjoy the same benefits as Chinese ones, according to the local government.

"The integration of technology, economy and corporate development is very important, and our goal is for the economy to be greatly driven by technological innovation," said Qingdao Party Secretary Li Qun.

"In addition to having big companies take part in major projects, it's even more important to raise the capacity for innovation among small and medium-sized companies. And we will provide more preferential policies to encourage scientists and technicians to release their innovative power," he added.

Not only does Qingdao have extensive infrastructure, a livable environment and a large talent pool, but also operating costs here are relatively low compared to first-tier cities like Beijing and Shanghai.

"We believe opening this city up to the world will attract more international companies to set up innovation centers in Qingdao," Li said.

Jiang Bo, director of the Qingdao Bureau of Science and Technology, said the government will open new communication channels for publicizing its incentives to foreign companies and allaying any potential concerns resulting from misunderstandings.

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