With a surface equivalent to less than half of Germany (180.000 sq. km) and a population of 105 million, Guangdong is the most populated province of China. In 2013, the regional GDP was worth more than US$ 1.000 billion, with an annual growth rate of 8.5%, accounting for about 10% of the GDP of China. As the leading economy in China for the last 25 years, Guangdong province has surpassed the four countries that powered Asia’s economic growth for decades – Singapore, Hong Kong, Taiwan and South Korea in terms of GDP. According to the Development and Reform Commission (DRC), Guangdong has been promoting the industrial development and the process of industrialization, establishing a relatively complete industrial system. Advanced manufacturing industries such as shipbuilding, rail transit equipment, nuclear power equipment, wind power equipment and general purpose aircraft are booming and form part of the advanced manufacturing industrial system. The reputation of ‘Made in Guangdong’ is worldwide famous and the Pearl River Delta has become a globally important high-technology industries manufacturing base.
Guangzhou is the capital city of Guangdong Province and one of the three biggest comprehensive gateway cities of China, with an administrative area of 7.434 km2 and a population of around 16 million. As the origin port of the Maritime Silk Road, Guangzhou has always been the pioneer city of China’s opening to the outside world and international trade. So far 49 countries have set up consulates-general in Guangzhou. The city is one of the key hubs in China in terms of international transportation and information (Guangzhou port ranked 3rd in China, Guangzhou Baiyun Airport is one of the three biggest hub airports in China). The provincial capital is also an important axe of China’s high-tech industry development, with an industry output value of USD 102 billion and 1.389 certified high-tech companies (2013 – DRC Guangzhou figures). Guangzhou is one of the Chinese cities with most intensive intellectual resources (think tanks, national engineering labs, etc.).
Located in the provincial capital, the Guangzhou Development District (GDD) is one of the first group state-level economic and technological development districts set up in China. With a total planned area of 78.92 square kilometres, GDD has the unique “four-in-one” administration system consisting of national Economic and Technological Development District, High-tech Industrial Development District, Free Trade Zone and Export Processing Zone. There are over 6000 companies from more than 60 countries and regions investing in GDD, among which over 2.900 are foreign-invested projects. GDD is a state-level innovative science-tech area, attracting 1.258 companies and 386 R&D institutes. In 2012, the R&D investment volume accounted for 3.85% of GDP.
With regard to the economic cooperation with the European Union, in 2013 the total business revenue of the EU-based companies in GDD reached RMB 25.954 billion with a year-on-year growth rate of 12%. GDD’s import-export volume to EU reached US$ 3.825 billion with a year-on-year growth rate of 11.7%, whereas the export volume to the EU was US$ 1.886 billion accounting for 21.8% in GDD. The import volume from the EU was US$ 1.939 billion accounting for 3.4% of GDD. The GDD Innovation Relay Center facilitates the knowledge flow and technology transfer. GDD promotes the Innovation Alliance of New High-tech Industry, focusing at establishing an industry-university-research cooperation system. Examples of innovation centres at GDD include the South China New Medicine Innovation Center and the Knowledge City that covers a planned area of 123 square kilometers with a 10-square-kilometer Start-up Area. The goal is to build a new highland for internationalized knowledge economy. Regarding GDD innovation with Europe, the Sino-UK Biotech Bridge for international biotechnology is an important best-practice.
More information here: 03_Guangzhou Development District (GDD)