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East Tech West conference: innovative Guangzhou plays a pivotal role within China's Greater Bay Area

East Tech West conference: innovative Guangzhou plays a pivotal role within China's Greater Bay Area

GUANGZHOU, China, Nov. 30, 2018 /PRNewswire/ -- The East Tech West event, a tech conference organized by CNBC and the Administrative Committee of Nansha District, was held in the southern Chinese city of Guangzhou, an important hub within the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area, from November 27 to 29. The event attracted more than 200 global leaders in business and technology, including senior executives or founders of Alibaba, JP Morgan,, Didi Chuxing,, Ernst & Young, Telenor, Microsoft and WM Motor. By sharing insights on artificial intelligence, fin-tech, smart manufacturing and other much-debated topics, they discussed ways to seize on opportunities from the technological and industrial revolution and to unleash the potential for innovation.

Amid a new round of industrial and technological revolution, the world is seeing a convergence of technological revolution in some critical areas with China's economic growth. And the inner force driving innovation and technological advancement is among the topics discussed at the event in Guangzhou, a frontier of global scientific and technological innovation.

Scientific and technological innovation is essential to driving the economic growth of the Bay Areas, and more importantly, developing the area at large. The world's three major Bay Areas of New York, Tokyo and San Francisco are fine examples. Globally, China's Greater Bay Area aims at morphing into a center for shipping, trade, financial services, technological innovation and advanced manufacturing, and will hopefully become a new engine for China's technological innovation.

AI, for example, is an eye-catching area at the event. Nansha has now housed technological projects of more than 130 industrial leaders in this field, including Tencent, AsiaInfo, CloudWalk, iFlytek and The Guangzhou International Institute of Artificial Intelligence has been established here, and the two-square-kilometer Nansha Artificial Intelligence Industrial Park, will be built in Qingsheng, a hub within Nansha Area of Guangzhou, China (Guangdong) Pilot Free Trade Zone.

As Nansha opens up its public services of education, healthcare and transportation, the AI firms are offered more space to apply their innovative products and services. "Nansha is on track to become an exemplary AI-based smart city," said Cai Chaolin, party secretary of Nansha.

To establish as a hub city of the Greater Bay Area, Guangzhou is pooling quality resources from all over the world. As incubators of technologies, such as AI, big data and biotechnology, Nansha Institute of Artificial Intelligence, Pazhou Mobile Payment Smart Island and GE Biological Park demonstrate how Guangzhou shares its orientation and values with the world in pursuing innovation. This has changed the way people live, work and think.

"China has been making major progress on the technological front in recent years. The growth of its AI industry, heavily relying on massive data, has been rapid. China is indeed 'the Saudi Arabia of data' with strong computing power," said Li Jing, managing director and vice chairman of Asia Pacific at JP Morgan.

"In a world of ever-changing technology, China has gained a sound momentum for scientific and technological development in the future. CNBC is willing to embark on a path toward shared development with China," said KC Sullivan, president and managing director of CNBC International. In his view, Nansha will be a significant contributor to China's technological scenario.

Scientific and technological innovation in fact rests upon sound market and policy environments. With strong and enabling environment for technological development, Nansha has continued to roll out favorable policies and forge a future-oriented climate. A report by KPMG shows that the district ranks 51st in the world by the business environment, above the world's average.

As a host of innovative firms and incubators is growing strong, their influence on the globe is also increasing. In this connection, Guangzhou has consolidated its position among the international cities.

Guangzhou has made it into the alpha category of first-tier global cities, according to the latest world city ranking issued by Globalization and World Cities Research Network (GaWC). Sources from the GaWC said that compared to the cities within the Yangtze River Delta (Shanghai excluded), the Pearl River Delta cities are more connected to the world.

The world-wide connectivity has greatly channeled the global quality resources into Guangzhou. Data shows that Guangzhou housed 40,000 new tech companies in 2017, meaning an average of 11 were established per day.

Nansha is just a testimony to Guangzhou's capacity to pool innovative firms. Over the past three years since the establishment of Nansha Area, its business community has experienced a nearly nine-fold increase, from 8400 to 83,000 businesses, and 127 projects invested by Fortune Global 500 companies settled here.

A basic pattern of innovation has been formed as an innovation-oriented ecosystem that consists of policies, capital, talents and institution is maturing. Third-party estimates show that Nansha ranks third in China by institutional innovation and first by trade facilitation for two consecutive years. "Nansha is set to become an international innovative center within the Greater Bay Area," said Cai.

The Bay Area economy has been viewed as a main driver of the global economic growth. The guests at the East Tech West 2018 agreed that with a free flow of quality innovative resources and factors from across the world and its resulting synergy created within the Greater Bay Area, Guangzhou is expected to be an influential and competitive global innovator of technology.

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