Telling good Guangzhou stories to the world

BY :lifeofguangzhou.com

UPDATED :06 12, 2017


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The 2017 Fortune Global Forum will be held in Guangzhou in December. Taking advantage of this opportunity, Guangzhou has proposed a new objective in international exchanges, that is, to speed up developing the city into an international exchange center in China. Such an objective is consistent with Guangzhou's self-orientation. The Ninth Plenary Session of the 10th Guangzhou Municipal Committee of the CPC, which was held in August 2016, proposed that Guangzhou shall expand its multi-lateral cooperation network and diplomatic platform by introducing and organizing international conventions and activities. In "telling good Guangzhou stories" to the outside world, Guangzhou expects to further raise its internationalization profile. An important index in measuring the internationalization and international exchanges of a city is the organization of high-end international conventions, such as the Fortune Global Forum.

New objective of the city
  In observation of the requirements for developing into a major central city, Guangzhou is working hard to make itself a hub network city and establish hubs for international shipping, international aviation, and international science and technology innovation. Being the host city of the 2017 Fortune Global Forum, Guangzhou is improving the urban environment, optimizing the business environment, and strengthening innovation-driven development, in order to build a high-profile, open economy system and make itself an important international exchange center. 
  The new objective finds its root in the history of Guangzhou. Being the origin of China's ancient Marine Silk Road, Guangzhou has been open to the world for more than 2,200 years. The Canton Fair, hailed as "China's No. 1 exhibition" was first unveiled in Guangzhou in 1957 and will welcome its 122nd soon.
  In recent years, Guangzhou has been making efforts to boost international exchanges. The Ninth Plenary Session of the 10th Guangzhou Municipal Committee of the CPC, which was held in August 2016, proposed that Guangzhou shall become an important panel point in the global cities network and introduce and organize important international conventions and activities, in order to upgrade the city's internationalization. The Guangzhou Government urges the proper organization of a range of activities, including the Canton Fair, the China Innovation and Entrepreneurship Fair, the Convention on Exchange of Overseas Talents, the Guangzhou Annual Investment Conference, the Guangzhou International Award for Urban Innovation and the Guangzhou Innovation Festival, and the 2018 World Route Development Forum. It also looks forward to more cooperation with high-end communication platforms of the world, including the Davos Forum, the Boao Forum for Asia and the China Development Forum.
Guangzhou took the second position in the ranking of the "General Index for the Development of Exhibition Industry in Chinese Cities" in 2015 only after Shanghai. It ranked the fourth in hosting international conventions in 2015, according to the statistics from the International Congress and Convention Association (ICCA). By organizing the 2017 Fortune Global Forum, Guangzhou aims to reestablish itself as a center of international exchanges.
A review of the international conventions held in Guangzhou shows that the first milestone event was the second Asia Pacific Cities Summit in 1996, which was a fruit of Guangzhou's active international exchanges. So far Guangzhou has established good relationships with 65 cities from around the globe as well as more than 120 regional non-governmental organizations, international friendship organizations and institutions. To date, 59 consulate-generals have been set up in Guangzhou, and Guangzhou has extended international exchanges with more than 1,000 cities in 136 countries. Since Japan's Fukuoka became the first sister city of Guangzhou in 1979, Guangzhou has established ties with many cities in the world, ranking the third in China in terms of the number of sister cities.

While continuously strengthening the ties with its sister cities, Guangzhou has been actively building the sister city cooperation and innovation platform. The "tri-city economic alliance" founded in 2014 involves Guangzhou, Auckland and Los Angeles and has witnessed cooperation of the three cities in airport, seaport, film and TV, and innovation industries. In March 2017, Guangzhou has set up branches in Silicon Valley and Boston of America.
Guangzhou's complete infrastructures have provided "hardware" support for holding international conventions. By the end of June 2016, Guangzhou had handled 55.21 million passengers via its airport, ranking the third among Chinese mainland cities; about 80,900 hotel rooms were provided; the area of convention and exhibition halls totaled 534,900 square meters, ranking the second among Chinese mainland cities. Guangzhou is home to 215 convention and exhibition companies and 234 star hotels, including 23 five-star hotels. The city is proud of its first-class service facilities and a highly efficient above-ground transportation system.
By holding high-end international conventions, Guangzhou can further improve its role as a national central city and the functions of its infrastructures and services, hence building itself into a "capital of international conventions and exhibitions". The internationalization profile of the city can also be upgraded, as international conventions can enhance the exchanges of information in various fields, including politics, economy, technology, market and culture. International cooperation will be strengthened too. Through the reinforcement of its international influences and the right of speech, Guangzhou will present a more and more international image on the global stage.