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China Daily / 2020-12 / 11 / Page020

Investors choose Shenzhen on back of global conference

By YUAN SHENGGAO | China Daily | Updated: 2020-12-11 00:00

Innovative, open environment for commerce fosters raft of new projects

The second global investment promotion conference wound up on Tuesday with 780 billion yuan ($119.5 billion) in contracts signed in the southern Chinese city of Shenzhen, cementing its leading position for foreign investment in China.

A total of 242 projects reached agreements of intent, of which 40 significant projects were sealed at the conference, the most important investment event of the city.

These projects are expected to be a major impetus in supporting the future development of the city and fall into the categories of next generation information technology, high-end manufacturing, new materials, biomedicine, finance, commercial circulation and digital economy.

They include the South China headquarters project of the United States' retailer Costco Wholesale, an innovation center for leading health technology company Royal Philips and a research and manufacturing base jointly developed by AstraZeneca and Kanvax, for the COVID-19 vaccine.

The launch of the conference is part of Shenzhen's broader efforts to push forward with high-quality and sustainable development with the aim of becoming a pilot demonstration area for socialism with Chinese characteristics.

Wang Weizhong, Party secretary of Shenzhen, said the city will widely open its market and further upgrade its business environment to better facilitate investment across the globe.

He said companies that choose to invest Shenzhen will experience the influence of national strategy and grow together with the most dynamic, resilient and open market.

He noted that Shenzhen has worked on the 14th Five-year Plan (2021-25) with a mission to make the city a successful model with characteristics of socialism and create new and bigger miracles that will stun the world.

A pioneer of China's reform and opening-up, Shenzhen has been a popular destination for foreign investment.

According to the commerce bureau of Shenzhen, the city's paid-in cross-boundary capital amounted to $7 billion in the first 10 months of this year, growing 7.58 percent year-on-year, with China's Hong Kong special administrative region, the United Kingdom, France, Germany, Japan and Singapore being main sources.

Affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, the bureau set up an online network this year specially designed for global investors and promoting the brand of Shenzhen.

Deloitte indicated in its latest report on the development environment of Shenzhen's information technology and biotechnology industries, released at the conference, that the research and development input in Shenzhen has accounted for 4.2 percent of the city's GDP, a level that some of the developed countries reach.

The GDP of Shenzhen was close to 2.7 trillion yuan in 2019, up 6.7 percent from a year before, ranking third among Chinese mainland cities just after Shanghai and Beijing.

The Deloitte report attributed the consistent development of the technological innovation in Shenzhen to three key aspects-the highly open and innovative system and policies, effective allocation of funds and professionals, and a fair legal system and transparent governance.

Qualcomm, a world-leading wireless technology company, said it chose to set up its global innovation center in Shenzhen because of its complete industrial chain for manufacturing and hardware as well as its open, fair and practical business and innovation environment.

Sanofi Pasteur was the first transnational vaccine company to invest in China by setting up its Chinese headquarters then in Shenzhen in 1996. The company started construction of its first international vaccine innovation center in Shenzhen on Oct 30.

Zhang Heping, general manager of Sanofi Pasteur China, said the excellent business environment of Shenzhen was never a slogan but was proved by practical and solid work.

He said the company will continue to invest in Shenzhen and help upgrade the city's global influence in public health management and vaccine innovation.

Andreas Schneck, general manager of Siemens Shenzhen Magnetic Resonance, told China Daily that the business environment is extremely friendly to companies.

He said he is most impressed by the innovation power of Shenzhen and the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area.

"This is what we find the most important and the most interesting in Shenzhen for companies like us," he noted.

The conference attracted around 800 participants, including senior executives from Fortune Global 500 companies and China's top 500 companies, representatives for business chambers and international organizations as well as local government officials.


Representatives attend the second global investment promotion conference in Shenzhen, Guangdong province. MAO SIQIAN/XINHUA



Executives from the city's outstanding foreign enterprises receive rewards during the conference. MAO SIQIAN/XINHUA



The night view of the central business district in Shenzhen. MAO SIQIAN/XINHUA



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