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For U.S. Companies in Guangzhou, the future is spelled I.A.B.
Guangzhou, known as a millennium business capital in southern China is writing a bold new chapter in its history, bringing a new level of prosperity, growth and connectivity for the region, and for those operating within its borders.

Updated:1497106209Source:Chicago Tribune

Guangzhou, known as a millennium business capital in southern China is writing a bold new chapter in its history, bringing a new level of prosperity, growth and connectivity for the region, and for those operating within its borders.

Guangzhou is the capital city of Guangdong Province and a leading city in China, and has long been known as a prominent hub of international commerce and trade. But today, it is Guangzhou’s progress in innovation and modernization that are giving it a new spot on the global map, advancing the city, and the country, to the forefront of hot incipient industries like information technology, artificial intelligence and biopharmaceuticals (I.A.B). With this, Guangzhou is uncovering vast new opportunities for progressive enterprises, becoming a breeding ground of development for innovative corporations, both foreign and domestic.

Where innovation flourishes, investment flows freely

Today there are already more than eight million square meters of high-tech business incubators in Guangzhou, with more than 120,000 technology and innovation companies making a strong foray into next-gen fields, like I.A.B. In fact, according to Fast Company, 13 of China’s 50 most innovative companies have operations in Guangzhou.

In 2016, Guangzhou ranked second in the country in terms of net increase of high-tech enterprises, adding 2,820 to the total in 2016. By the end of March 2017, 796 of Guangzhou’s high-tech companies had become industrial enterprises above their designed size, and from January to February, the output value from these enterprises reached .07 billion – up 9.9% year-on-year.

The new Guangzhou National Innovation Demonstration Zone is another representation of the region’s innovation-driven development strategy. By integrating this new zone with the city’s existing science and technology parks, Guangzhou is building a novel sci-tech corridor that will help optimize the technology revolution for corporations operating in the region.

Guangzhou is also continually enhancing and evolving its investment environment, creating a pro-business ecosystem that breaks down barriers and opens new doors for foreign enterprises. The region’s policy and service benefits, geographical advantages, focus on localization, flexibility, talent recruitment and stable, large-scale development continue to attract investment from overseas, and have helped put Guangzhou at the top of Forbes’ list of Best Cities for Business in China. The United States has begun to capitalize on this business-friendly environment as of March 2017, the city had attracted approximately .24 billion from 999 U.S. funded enterprises, with this figure continuing to rise across diverse sectors ranging from information technology (I.T.) to biomedicine, and beyond.

Guangzhou City is committed to staying service-oriented and fostering its investment friendliness and has introduced a series of financial support policies and initiatives in order to create a more favorable environment for development. It has also created a science and technology fund and an action plan for supporting the IPO of science and technology enterprises.

From here to the future, an I.A.B.-focused strategy lights the path forward

A fortified focus on innovative I.A.B. industries in Guangzhou is illuminating bright prospects for businesses from China, and across the globe, with the city vowing to introduce and nurture leading enterprises in their pursuit and execution of these emerging industries.

The I.T. industry in Guangzhou is mounting at a rate of 7.9%, with output from the electronic information manufacturing industry reaching .16 billion in 2016. A large number of foreign investors are now leveraging on this shift, including U.S. firms like tech giant Cisco, which recently invested in a smart city project in Guangzhou; Microsoft, which selected Guangzhou as the site for its cloud and mobile technology incubation program; Google, which now hosts its AdWords experience center in the city; and LG, which is pursuing a vast LCD and OLED project in the region. These U.S.-based corporations have selected Guangzhou as the ideal place to grow their advanced operations, and as technology continues to fuel economic and societal development, these kinds of innovative operations in Guangzhou are likely to play a pivotal role in the future of business and commerce.

When it comes to artificial intelligence (A.I.), China's industry is forecast to grow 51.2% in 2017, with a core focus on technology, big data and commercial applications. In Guangzhou, a specific movement in A.I. applications is beginning to surge, with corporations and enterprises leading the way in development of language and image recognition capabilities, service robots, smart home applications, drones and autonomous vehicles. Today, U.S. investors are turning to this southern Chinese city to capitalize on the region’s many local benefits with regard to intelligent technology, and beyond. As a key city in China with an advanced manufacturing base, Guangzhou has a solid foundation for supporting and ushering the robotics and intelligent equipment industries into the future.

The bio-industry in Guangzhou is also growing rapidly at 14% annual, with biomedicine a key component of this innovative field. The city has recently implemented a new industrial layout, complete with special development zones, that has helped fuel tremendous progress for both foreign and domestic bio enterprises in the region. In 2016, the city's bioindustry achieved an added value of .29 billion, accounting for 21.6% of the added value for the city’s strategic new industries. Guangzhou also features a massive research environment and provides R&D support to new firms. These kinds of initiatives have enabled progressive collaboration between Guangzhou and overseas companies. For example, the Guangzhou Pharmaceuticals Corporation joint venture –formed by Guangzhou Phar. Holdings and Walgreens Boots Alliance – increased its sales volume to .2 billion in 2017, after just 10 years of operation, and today provides services to 98% of China’s population. This underscores the types of successful cooperation opportunities that are unfolding between domestic and foreign pharmaceutical companies in Guangzhou.

Guangzhou is a pioneer in supporting strategic new I.A.B. industries, opening its arms to innovative enterprises, institutions and organizations from around the world. As such, this December, the city will host the 2017 Global Fortune Forum, gathering world leaders and the heads of global businesses to discuss the dynamic domain of international commerce and global economic development. The forum will provide an opportunity for CEOs of the Fortune Global 500 to meet with China leaders from the public and private sectors and hold collaborative discussions about the future of progress and innovation.

Editor:Joanna You
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