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Guangzhou, a major international metropolis and innovative city

(People's Daily Online)    14:31, December 08, 2017

High- rise building complex in Guangzhou (source: Guangzhou Municipal Government Information Office)

The 2017 Fortune Global Forum, which is being held in Guangzhou from Dec. 6 to 8, has attracted more than 1,000 representatives from 388 enterprises including a total of 152 Fortune 500 companies and 72 leading enterprises. The essential global conference comes after the successful conclusion of the 19th CPC National Congress.

According to Alan Murray, president of Fortune and chief content officer of Time Inc., the southern gate city not only embodies China’s determination to be at the center of global trade throughout its history, but also serves as an outstanding active representative in the modern business world. These significant factors all contributed to Guangzhou’s successful bid.

The future is tech innovation: More than 7,000 high-tech corporations

Ehang 184 AAV in a trial flight abroad

The Ehang 184, the first fully autonomous aerial vehicle, exhibited at the Yixiang Science and Technology Park in Guangzhou impressed the visitors and caught massive attention.

The Ehang 184, which was initiated and developed by Guangzhou Ehang Intelligence Technology Co., Ltd., also known as GEIT, is equipped with eight propellers and four arms. The 1.5 meter aerial vehicle is fully electric and can reach a cruising speed up to 100 km/h.

The number of technology and innovation companies in Guangzhou has hit a record high of 169 thousand so far, with approximately 4,700 high-tech companies. It is forecasted that more than 2,000 new high-tech companies will be established this year, bringing the total to over 7,000.

Meanwhile, initiatives and resources are flooding into Guangzhou from around the world, and a total of 297 Fortune 500 companies have invested in the city.

All these achievements give credit to the continuous optimization of Guangzhou’s business environment. In 2015, for example, the launch of a “three-direction” plan to build an international business environment took the lead in upgrading the city’s business environment.

“The rewarding business environment in Guangzhou contributes significantly to our achievements,” said Sungy Mobile Limited, a globally renowned mobile application developer company.

Guangzhou has made the Forbes best Chinese city list five times in a row. According to 2016 global city rankings published by the think tank Globalization and World Cities Research Network (GaWC), Guangzhou is now a world first-tier city.

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Guangzhou Harbor: Busy Nansha Harbor District

More and more global cities are developing relations with Guangzhou. Guangzhou has friendship treaties with 36 global cities and cooperates and communicates with 31 cities, and 60 countries base their consulates in Guangzhou.

Guangzhou is rapidly becoming a global city, and an important trading, economic, and commercial center, according to Charles E. Bennett, the US consulate general in Guangzhou. The breadth and strength of Guangzhou’s development is what impresses him the most after 30 years in China, especially when Guangzhou hosts the biggest trading fair in China, which highlights trade and business to show Guangzhou as welcoming and open, he said.

The Guangzhou Trade Fair has become the signpost of foreign trading on the mainland since the first fair in 1957. Almost 200,000 merchants from 213 different countries and regions attended the 122th Guangzhou Trade Fair this year.

The value of imports and exports between Guangzhou and neighboring countries along the Belt and Road has reached more than $784 billion from 2013 to 2016, nearly one fourth of the total amount Guangzhou’s volume. Private enterprises in Guangzhou have established 87 companies in Belt and Road countries.

“Guangzhou has always been an open city with different features at different periods,” said Peng Qiang, a Guangzhou municipal government decision- making consultant. Before, the city promoted industries transferred from outside the country to Guangzhou before imitation. Now, Guangzhou is focused on upgrading, with an emphasis on introducing, cultivating, and maintaining talents.

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Nanyue King Tomb inside Museum of the Mausoleum of the Nanyue King, a valuable historical and cultural heritage. (Source: Guangzhou Municipal Government Information Office)

As one of the first cities listed as National Famous Historical and Cultural Cities, Guangzhou has nearly 2,230 years of profound history and rich cultural resources.

Guangzhou is becoming a global Cantonese opera center, a music metropolis, and a documentary city, with continuous achievements in fine arts generation after generation. Almost 1,290 square meters of public cultural facility areas stand out among national counterparts. In 2016, a gross increase of 100 billion yuan in Guangzhou’s culture industry seized 5% of the GDP.

As indicated by Chinese Urban Cultural Competitiveness Report 2016 issued by the Institute of Cultural Development at Communication University of China, Guangzhou scored a solid third in terms of overall urban cultural competitiveness nationwide.

Dawn redwoods at Haizhu Lake, Guangzhou, reflect the autumn scenery.

Apart from its thousands of years of cultural history, Guangzhou also holds advantageous ecological resources, with greening a rate of up to 41.5%, a forestation rate of 42%, and 310 days of standard air quality in 2016.

National demographic data reveals that Guangzhou has established itself as one of the most favored destinations for domestic migrants. According to the Top 100 City Destinations Ranking for 2017, Guangzhou ranked 18th.

“Guangzhou is a genuinely attractive city and its growth is unbeatable,” said Murray. China has transformed itself from being a follower into a leader in expanding fields. Not just Guangzhou, as many Chinese metropolises are open, innovative, inclusive, and pragmatic. The 2017 Fortune Global Forum in Guangzhou will be a valid credential of the importance of global business. 

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(Web editor: Hongyu, Bianji)

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