China Hi Tech Fair / News

Inventive spirit transforms Shenzhen into powerhouse

By YUAN SHENGGAO |  China Daily |  Updated:2022-11-17

The 2022 China Hi-Tech Fair in Shenzhen, Guangdong province, set to run from Tuesday to Saturday, will provide the world with a window to see what a crucial role innovation has played in the host city's from-rags-to-riches story.

With a GDP comparable to Austria — 3.07 trillion yuan ($422 billion) — and a per capita GDP of $24,355, Shenzhen, which used to be a small town to the north of Hong Kong in the late 1970s, has one of the largest city economies in China.

The city itself is a product of innovation and it is continuing to create such miracles. Although it covers only 1,997 square kilometers, smaller than many counties in the country, Shenzhen has set itself a broad stage by seeking infinity in innovation.

It is fair to say innovation has always been the driving force of Shenzhen's development and a core part of the city's "soft power". It has one of the best innovation and business atmospheres in the country. To make changes might be the only fixed thing in Shenzhen, where innovation is in the city's genes and the residents' blood.

Their efforts have paid off. In 2021, the added value of the city's high-tech industry accounted for 37.13 percent of its GDP. In the first half of this year, 20 clusters of seven strategic emerging industries in the city achieved an added value of 627.164 billion yuan, accounting for 41.8 percent of GDP, up 7.2 percent year-on-year.

A long-term commitment to and accumulation of scientific and technological innovation have helped Shenzhen overcome the challenges brought by the COVID-19 pandemic and geopolitical tensions that have hit the growth of many cities around the world.

That concentration of innovation and production factors, ranging from technology and talents to investment and labor force, in the city should be largely attributed to the tremendous support it gives to promoting innovation, the thoughtful services it provides to talents and enterprises and the down-to-earth work style and the high efficiency and responsiveness of the government.

These qualities have defined a Shenzhen that values talent, fair play, rule of law, hard work and achieving dreams. It is the only city in South China where Mandarin Chinese is widely used rather than the local dialect, for instance Cantonese, which speaks volumes of its openness and inclusiveness.

Shenzhen's innovation-driven development has also won it recognition and great support from central authorities. The city has now built six national key laboratories and more than 3,200 innovation platforms and enterprises.

At present, among the city's 17 million permanent residents, 6 million are talents in various fields. As the most dynamic and creative group of the hungry-for-success city, they do not believe in so-called comfort zones. Although Shenzhen might have many meanings to them, it is in essence a place to realize their dreams.

Besides, with more than 30 percent of its input in innovation being spent on basic research, Shenzhen has demonstrated the foresight and ambition that what it wants is by no means immediate profit but long-term gain from high-quality sustainable development driven by innovation.

By continuously deepening the reform of scientific and technological systems and mechanisms and improving its business environment, Shenzhen has accelerated the formation of a whole-process innovation ecological chain. It consists of basic research, technology research, industrialization of achievements, technology finance and talent support. This is proving to be a virtuous circle where all stakeholders can work together for the same purpose of prompting breakthroughs in science and technology.

The construction of the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area, a key national development program, created historic opportunities for Shenzhen. It can make a better use of regional resources, particularly those from Hong Kong, in the process of advancing Shenzhen-Hong Kong integrated development which stresses the docking of institutions and exchanges of talents, funds and businesses.

Over the next five years, Shenzhen aims to raise its GDP to above 4 trillion yuan. The added value of its strategic emerging industries should exceed 1.5 trillion yuan with an improved core competitiveness of its modern industrial system. To that end, the city is expected to continue to do all it can to magnetize innovation resources from around the world and building itself into a global destination for talents, funds and businesses.


An industrial robot works on a production line in Foxconn in Shenzhen. CHINA DAILY


Employees produce facial masks in a workshop of Winner Medical in Shenzhen. CHINA DAILY

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