Visitors attend a cultural show in Guangzhou.
Guangzhou, capital of South China's Guangdong province, plans to grow into an international exchange hub in three years, joining hands with overseas friends in communication of resources, assets and talents.
As an important port city, Guangzhou has long been a southern gateway of China and has a long history of reform and opening-up. Its cuisine in light taste, delicately-made dim sum and local dialect Cantonese, were known by the Western world, earlier than any other areas of China.
Guangzhou is carrying out a year-long event called "Global conversations between Guangzhou and the world", with a goal to make the flower city a world-famous brand by 2021, as quoted from Wen Guohui, mayor of Guangzhou, at a news conference in early January.
The Fortune Global Forum held in the city last month has attracted massive media coverage and cameras, resulting in 33,000 news reports that reached about 2 billion audience worldwide, according to the mayor.
"Through the forum, stories of China have been shared, voices of Chinese people have been heard and positive energy has been transmitted regardless of border," said Wen.
The country's efforts to further open up, develop a freer and more convenient climate for global trade and investment, as well as its achievements in e-commerce, mobile payments and shared economy were better known by the world after the forum, he added. Under the spotlight, Guangzhou also got a chance to tell its culture, history, policies and ideal business climate.
One of the most exciting results were the many investments poured in by IT giants Cisco, Foxconn, Tencent and Alibaba during the event, providing fuel to the city's long-term development of IAB industry - information technology, artificial intelligence and biomedicine.
Apart from a record-breaking result from the forum, good news has been heard for the city to win the bid to host the 2018 World Route Development Conference, the 2019 World Posts Conference and the 2020 World Association of Major Metropolises among many others. "Guangzhou is known by more and more people at the global stage after organizing the many world-class events and conferences," said Liu Jianghua, president of Asia-Pacific Innovation Economic Research Institute. "It's called soft power, which can attract more high-level people and investment to the city.
The basis of building an international exchange hub is solid, in that the city has the second-most consulates up to 61 in China. It has liaison offices of Silicon Valley, Boston and Tel Aviv. Its "friends' circle" is expanding while maintaining long and friendly commercial communications with more than 220 countries already. "Guangzhou has strength in developing international exchanges, which will in return help improve its international status," said Ma Xiangming, chief planner of Guangdong Urban and Rural Planning and Design Institute.
Guangzhou has been improving its infrastructure for international hubs in aviation, shipping and technological innovation in the past couple of years as support of its role in global exchanges, while its location as the core of the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area will become a drawing card to the same end.
The city's international airport has flights reaching over 220 destinations globally at present with passenger throughput exceeding 65 million in 2017.
And about 200 container lines operate in the city with shipping routes reaching more than 400 harbors in over 100 countries and regions worldwide, a local newspaper reports. Located at the core of the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area, Guangzhou also plans to enhance cooperation with the two regions in fields including medical health, higher education, technological innovation, legal services and intellectual property protection.