Guiding growth and creativity

Source:Xinhua – Global Times Published: 2020/1/14 22:18:42

Modernization drive gains new momentum in 2020

Shekou sea world in Shenzhen, South China's Guangdong Province Photo: CNSphoto

As China begins 2020, its modernization drive continues gaining momentum.

In South China's Guangdong Province, one of the country's major economic powerhouses, high-tech and new-industry sectors are powering economic growth, along with upgrading traditional manufacturing.

Zhou Zhen, founder of Guangzhou Hexin Instrument Co, ushered in the New Year with a hectic schedule. The entrepreneur attended one meeting after another to lay out the 2020 development plan for his company, an emerging leader in the mass spectrometry industry. Spectrometry is used in microbial detection, rapid detection of pesticide residues and pharmacy.

Hexin sold more than 300 million yuan ($43.3 million) worth of mass spectrometers in 2019, surpassing a compound growth rate of 35 percent for five consecutive years. It is building an innovation research institute for the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area.

"Like many enterprises, we are facing difficulties, but small and medium-sized enterprises are trusted to do great things, and we have the confidence in overcoming difficulties in the New Spectrometry Year," Zhou said.

Guangdong's strategic new industries increased in added value by 7.5 percent year-on-year in the first 11 months of 2019, according to official estimates. Specifically, the computer, communication and electronic equipment manufacturing grew by 7 percent, and the electrical machinery and equipment manufacturing reported an 8.5-percent growth.

It is now widely expected that Guangdong, home to 45,000 high-tech companies, will exceed 10 trillion yuan in GDP in 2019, following 9.73 trillion yuan in 2018.

Innovation powers development

Innovation is instrumental as China strives for modernization, and people are already exemplifying the spirit of innovative.

In Chengdu, capital of Southwest China's Sichuan Province, that is famous for hotpot dishes, restaurant owners are trying new ways to bring their special cuisine culture to the next level.

In Tianfu Hot-pot Town, hotpot tables stand in gardens, float in lakes and are even lodged on trees. Each day, crowds of foodies boil hotpot ingredients in a spicy soup amid blasting music and shining lights. This unique way of consuming hotpot is so different that it has made the town a big hit on Chinese short video sharing apps Douyin and TikTok.

"In the past, the area was deserted: It was dirty and messy," said Fu Wei, general manager of a Chengdu hotpot restaurant. "We later transformed the water and planted a lot of trees here."

Fu invited many farmers and young people to work in the innovative town, which now guarantees an annual income of up to 50,000 yuan for each of them. The restaurant receives up to 3,000 diners a day, with sales revenue reaching 300,000 yuan on a daily basis.

"They truly innovatively change the industry," said Chengdu official Yang Yang. "This interesting way of dining also helps impoverished farmers who either work there or provide agricultural products to the town."

Going Green

While development is important, China has abandoned the growth-at-all-costs model and switched to green, sustainable and high-quality growth.

Such an ecologically conscious change can be demonstrated with energy vehicles (NEVs) for instance.

In the January-September period last year, NEV sales in China rose 20.8 percent year- on-year to 872,000 units, according to the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers.

The boom resulted in a strong demand for lithium-ion batteries. Contemporary Amperex Technology Co posted a 45.7-percent net profit growth during the same period. The company is China's largest automotive lithium-ion battery maker, and its headquarters is in the city of Ningde, East China's Fujian Province.

Over the past year, the company declared a series of key technological breakthroughs. For example, the self-heating technology enables batteries to warm up from 20 degrees Celsius below zero to 10 degrees Celsius in 15 minutes.

Further opening-up

While China's domestic enterprises are on the fast track, the nation has also been welcoming foreign-invested companies to contribute to its modernization drive.

China's foreign investment law took effect on January 1, 2020 to better protect foreign investors' interests, with unified provisions for the entry, promotion, protection and management of foreign investment.

More than 600 kilometers away from Ningde, authorities have released a new plan outlining a blueprint for high-quality growth in the city of Suzhou, East Jiangsu Province.

According to the plan, Suzhou will be home to 14,000 high-tech firms by the end of 2022, including 3,000 foreign-invested ones. The dynamic city has 17,000 foreign-funded companies, with its actual use of foreign investment totaling $132 billion.

Last week, US electric carmaker Tesla officially delivered the first batch of 10 made-in-China Model 3 sedans to the public in Shanghai, one year after the company broke ground with its first overseas plant.

"We'll continue to make significant investments in China, making Model 3, Model Y and future models as well in China," said Tesla CEO Elon Musk.


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