The Guangzhou-Shenzhen Science and Technology Innovation Corridor, a 180-odd-km long economic belt consisting of Guangzhou, Shenzhen and Dongguan, will get a boost to grow into China’s Silicon Valley as the provincial authorities gave the go-ahead to the related planning on Sept 22.
The innovation corridor, covering an area of 11,000 sq km in Guangzhou, Shenzhen and Dongguan and boasting the best innovation resources accumulated during the past 40 years of China's reform and opening up, will be the nation’s major innovation engine and gateway for the province to connect global innovation trends.
According to the planning, the corridor, set for completion by 2030, will become core of the Pearl River Delta National Independent Innovation Demonstration Zone and a globally influential innovation enterprise cluster in the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area and even in China.
In April this year, Chinese President Xi Jinping instructed Guangdong to carry forward supply-side structural reform, implement innovation-driven development strategy and support the nation’s open economy development. In May, following President Xi’s instructions, the province proposed the idea to develop Guangzhou-Shenzhen Science and Technology Innovation Corridor at the 12th provincial Party congress.
Over the years, Guangzhou, Shenzhen and Dongguan have mustered numerous innovation resources including talents, technologies and capital, the synergy of which, once leveraged, will boost the innovation-driven development in South China as well as the development of the Guangdong- Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area.
“Guangzhou-Shenzhen expressway is an important channel connecting the Greater Bay Area with international science and technology trend,” said Zhang Xiaoqiang, executive vice-chairman of China Center for International Economic Exchanges.
In the eyes of local business people, the corridor will connect the leading enterprises and those start-ups with great potentials and it will see a better flow of resources and elements for innovation, driving forward the innovation in Pearl River Delta and also in the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area.
In recent years, Guangdong has been implementing the innovation-driven development strategy and upgrading its industrial structure. In 2016, the province saw 250,000 new patents licensed, among which 20,000 were international patent applications, in addition to 160,000 valid invention patents, topping any other regions in China. Now there are about 20,000 high-tech enterprises in Guangdong, accounting for over one third of the innovative enterprises and ranking No.1 in number in China.
In the eyes of Ma Xiangming, chief planner of the Guangdong Urban and Rural Planning and Design Institute, the eastern bank of the Pearl River has already become an integrated region, and this region has formed an environment for innovation with enterprises playing an active role.
Ma said that developing the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area is a major measure for the Pearl River Delta to promote industrial transformation and upgrading and become a world-class city cluster, adding that all world-class city clusters are driven by dominant service sector and that as the service industry in the Pearl River Delta is derived from manufacturing industry, technological innovation is an inevitable way out.
With a total area accounting for 15% of the Pearl River Delta, Guangzhou, Shenzhen and Dongguan yield about 60% of the region’s GDP. The three cities have an especially good foundation for innovative economy, being home to over 60% of the high-tech enterprises in the province.
Eight local enterprises in the area have entered the list of the Fortune Global 500; and world-renowned enterprises are developing sturdily here, including Huawei, Tencent, ZTE, DJI, OPPO and Vivo.
Guo Wanda, executive vice-president of China (Shenzhen) Development Institute, said, “The corridor is so called because the industries, the elements for innovation and the enterprises have all gathered here, which has formed a cluster of innovation. The Guangzhou-Shenzhen Science and Technology Innovation Corridor has got everything needed.”