Shekou, a symbol of reform and opening-up

By Zhang Hongpei Source:Global Times Published: 2018/2/25 21:58:40

Vital role played by foreign capital in area’s growth

The Shekou Industrial Zone in Shenzhen, South China's Guangdong Province, has transformed from a desolate seaside fishing village in the 1970s to a developed area, attracting people from both home and abroad to pursue their dreams over the past four decades.

In 1979, China Merchants Shekou Industrial Zone Holdings Co (CMSK), a subsidiary of State-owned China Merchants Group (CMG), commenced the development and construction of the Shekou Industrial Zone - the first internationally accessible economic development zone in China.

On a recent trip to Shenzhen, I visited China's first museum on the theme of reform and opening-up established by CMSK last year, in which many historical documents, photos, objects and letters are displayed, bringing visitors back to the memorable years in Shekou, especially the early stages of China's reform and opening-up.

For the generation in China born around the year 1990 like me, the early historical background of China's reform and opening-up is really something new and fresh, which needs to be digested, cherished and passed on generation by generation. Only by learning and understanding that period of history can the policy's significance and influence be fully integrated with our modern life.

I am quite stunned by the courage, wisdom and determination of the forerunners at that time. A statue of Yuan Geng, former deputy chairman of CMG and founder of the Shekou Industrial Zone, is now standing on the Sea World Plaza in Shekou.

The statue faces the sea while behind him there is a modern Shekou, fully equipped with all kinds of modern facilities including Sea World, an entertainment hub, along with the first five-star hotel in Shenzhen, new commercial buildings and business areas. The innovation and pioneering spirit of Yuan, who passed away in 2016, is still leading the Shekou area and the whole of Shenzhen to move ahead.

Amid the rising trend of domestic enterprises, however, it should not be forgotten that the super-rapid development of Shekou, especially during the early period of opening-up, benefited from the support of foreign capital.

Faced with investment uncertainties in Shekou at that time, these foreign companies took the first firm step, bringing funding, technology, advanced equipment and management concepts to the country, which helped lay solid foundations for the industrialization and modernization process.

With the help of foreign firms such as Sanyo Electric (Shekou) Ltd, Shekou has evolved into more than an area; it is a symbol with historic depth. Its slogan "time is money, efficiency is life," still shines on the side of a traffic island in Shekou, reminding people to seize the moment and move ahead.


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