Sanlongwan Innovation Cluster is a major platform for economic development in Foshan and even the Greater Bay Area. Recently, Foshan News interviewed Sanlongwan official to talk about how the cluster make efforts in global cooperation and communication.
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Jessica, journalist of Foshan News Network
Li Jie, Deputy Director of Bureau for International Coopertaion and Investment Promotion of Sanlongwan
Q: What is Sanlongwan and whats the orientation of that?
A: Sanlongwan is a part of the city of Foshan. But this name and the strategy of this zone was formed in the year of 2019, because as early as in 2019, the central government of China announced a very big plan, namely the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area (GBA Strategy). The central government wants the nine cities in the Pearl River Delta, and plus Hong Kong and Macau Special Administrative Regions as a whole to take part in the international competition and be a very booming area in the sector of innovation infrastructure and new economy development. Every city in the GBA area wants to fulfill this strategy and has a platform to complete its own mission and its way to join this GBA. So in the late of 2019, the city government in Foshan followed this great strategy and announced our own strategy, namely the Sanlongwan Innovation Cluster.
We took the greatest and the most charming area of the city, in the center of Foshan and covering Shunde, Nanhai and Chancheng District, with a borderline to Guangzhou South Railway Station. This is also a very charming area for the new development in Foshan.
At this point, we just announced new policies and new open environment structures. And we also want to put more innovative and sci-tech development sectors in this area. We let the university institutes from Hong Kong and from overseas have branches here in Sanlongwan. We had the policy to attract innovative entrepreneurs to have their startups here in Sanlongwan.We hope Foshan to have a lot of manufacturing big companies set their new departments and new branches here in Sanlongwan. So Sanlongwan will play a leading role in the innovation career for the whole Foshan City. And we want to lead this traditional manufacturing city as a young innovation powerhouse of Foshan. Thats our mission.
Wenhan Lake Park in Sanshan New Town (pic via Foshan Daily)
Q: Since you mentioned a lot of projects and visions in the future, can you tell us some major projects that have been settled or are going to be settled in Sanlongwan?
A: We are the management committee of the whole area and our strategy will be divided into three parts. I think the first part is infrastructure. For example, subways, highways and also the two nodes underground, a very popular concept of smart road networks. And because we want to attract big innovation startups to come here, we should have a free and open atmosphere.
The second part I would like to mention is that we have a lot of institutes, developing companies and universities here. For example, we are coordinating with the Hong Kong Polytechnic. They will have a new GBA campus in Sanlongwan, which is also an important cooperation between Chinese mainland and Hong Kong in the GBA. Secondly, we have launched the Jihua lab, which is also a provincial-level lab. And its main theme is manufacturing sciences for Foshan has more than 100,000 manufacturing companies. The task of this lab is to improve and achieve smart factories, industrial 4.0 and automation. The lab now already have more than 2,000 talents in different branch directions. They have also formed a lot of technology service companies to combine with the local infrastructure and local industrial business partners. And we have attracted Midea and KUKA, which is a also very well-known joint corporation project between Germany and China. And KUKA will have its biggest Chinese production base in Sanlongwan. They will produce more than 70,000 robots units in the next 5 years. That is also the biggest robot unit here in China. I think its not just a factory, but also a very important supporting facility for the local companies here in Foshan. For example, home appliance company may want to improve the automation level, so they will buy more robots for production.
I think the third part of the project is services because we want Sanlongwan to have both good hardware and software infrastructure. In this year, we will announce a new service strategy, especially for European and German companies, but also for all the companies. Well launch the strategy at the end of this September. We will have a meeting in Shanghai and also to the whole world. That means when foreign companies come to Sanlongwan to start their business in China, we will give some guide in registration, human resources, environment, business partner and all the elements we called as a company project. This is very important, especially for a start-up company. When they first enter China, they know just a few of Chinese market. They need help and they need government or committee as a company guide leading them to this market. And I think its also a very important part of the city’s whole software infrastructure. This year, Foshan Mayor and our leading directors of the city government aim to build a first-class business environment for investors. Sanlongwan wants to be a pilot in this project.
Kuka robots at the manufacturing shop of FAW-Volkswagen (Foshan Branch)
Q: You mentioned the new service project for foreign companies. Could you tell us more?
A: Let me clarify this question and give you more details. Firstly we will organize a professional team that includes persons from service agencies in the market and relevant government departments. The further part is the service as I just mentioned. For example, well give some answers in the company registration and help them find a good location in industrial parks or office buildings. We will provide education and translation information to foreign employees with spouses or children. And I think a very innovative part of the project is market-oriented services.That means we will act as a guide and also a local specialist. You will know about the advantage and disadvantage of industries in Foshan and even the whole Pearl River Delta Area, get access to your potential business partners and customers. We want to help you build the first view of Foshan and be a part of the local market in the cheapest and easiest way.
Q: I know that Foshan is an important part of the German Industrial City Alliance. How will that affect Sanlongwan?
A: The German Industrial City Alliance was launched in the year of 2016 and Foshan is one of the founders. And now the alliance has more than 45 member cities, including 27 Chinese cities and 20 German cities. It plays the role as a dialogue channel among cities and among companies of the countries.
For the alliance, I think its a plus for Sanlongwan. Because Sanlongwan has a second title, namely the Foshan Sino-German Industrial Services Zone. Foshan is a leading city in manufacturing and we have powerful manufacturing sectors. We will also invite other Chinese cities in specific branches or industries to join the networks and also the same to German partners. If a German company enters Chinese market, they can find potential partners with comprehensive choices. So the alliance is like a friendship group.
Foshan New Town (pic via Foshan News)
Q: Please use some keywords to describe Sanlongwan.
A: First is innovation. It is also a part of the name of our committee. Second is green as Foshan is a green city and a forest city. Third one is friendly. We are a friendly city to foreign-invested companies and start-ups. The forth one is colorful because Foshan is a charming city with rich Lingnan culture. I think if we continue to do well in these four aspects, we would be international.
Birds view of Sanlongwan (pic via Liang Wanqiong)
Host | Jessica
Cameramen | Bryant
Film Cutter | Patrick
Reviser | Eleanor, Grace