GUANGZHOU, China, Sept. 25, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- The World Route Development Forum 2017 is being held in the beautiful city of Barcelona, Spain from September 23 to 26. In the next year, the event will return to China and take place in Guangzhou city. On the evening of September 26, the representative of Guangzhou will accept the forum flag on behalf of the city at the Fira de Barcelona Exhibition Centre.
Guangzhou is the capital city of Guangdong Province where China made its first attempt at reform and opening up nearly four decades ago. Over 2,200 years ago, the ancient Maritime Silk Road extended from Guangzhou, traditionally known as Canton, to the rest of the world. As the only Chinese port always accessible to foreign traders in Chinese history, Guangzhou has long been one of the most vibrant players in international exchanges and resource aggregation in China, thus famed as the "Southern Gate of China".
As a leading city of China's Belt and Road Initiative, Guangzhou boasts its world-class seaports, airports, rail transport and information hubs. It has long gained access to the other parts of the world through its 195 sea lanes and 304 domestic and international air routes. Also, 58% of the Internet users in Chinese mainland have access to the World Wide Web via Guangzhou.
With increasing connections through the "21st Century Air Silk Road" initiative, Guangzhou has continued to develop its advantages as an aviation hub. Over the recent years, Guangzhou Baiyun International Airport has emerged as the most important gateway for the city to connect to Southeast Asia and Oceania. Guangzhou's global airline network has covered most of Asia Pacific, Oceania and Africa, and will expand its coverage in the European and American countries. According to statistics, in the first half of 2017 the airport was China's third-busiest and world's 16th-busiest airport by passenger traffic, with 32 million passengers handled, an increase of 10.78% on a year-on-year basis. As for cargo traffic, it was China's third-busiest and the 19th-busiest worldwide, with 838 thousand tons cargo handled, up 8.47% from the previous year. The airport's global airline network has covered 219 destinations globally, including 86 international ones. For now, the airport represents the hub of 77 airlines, 50 of which are from overseas.
For now, Guangzhou has announced an investment of over RMB 300 billion to build a "12-hour air traffic circle". It is expected that airport industry will continue to emerge as a power engine driving the development of Guangzhou's social economy for the future.
With the help of its urban transportation network, Guangzhou is marching forward with a grand ambition -- to become an international exchange center and a hub for international shipping, aviation and science &technology innovation. To achieve these goals, the city is working to establish an international shipping center, a logistics center, a trade center and a modern financial service system.
Guangzhou Municipal Government is planning to adopt strategies and solutions on such industries as IAB (information technology, artificial intelligence and biopharmaceuticals) and NEM (new energy and materials) to reinforce the government's commitment and bring in investment, intelligence and technology from around the world.
At the same time, this year's Fortune Global Forum will take place in Guangzhou in December. Apart from the World Route Development Forum 2018, the city will also host the World Ports Conference 2019 and the Metropolis World Congress 2020.
Guangzhou has become home to capital-intensive and technology-intensive programs as well as high-end projects that have a concentrated impact on the whole industry chain. So far, 289 of Fortune Global 500 companies have made investment decisions on the city and established nearly 800 programs. The globally-connected city is presently taking advantage of the opportunity to pick up speed and become a world hub.