Located in the Lingnan area of China, Guangxi is the only location in western China with maritime access, and is today home to over 56 million people. The region possesses clear advantages for opening-up, and is a crucial consumer of raw material, agricultural products, labor and industrial transfer recipient of the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area.
Guangxi is also the permanent host of China-ASEAN Expo and a vital gateway for connection to the "Belt and Road".
"Integration into the Greater Bay Area will facilitate Guangxi's overall development and create mutual benefits for the regions," Lu Xinshe, the region's Party secretary said.
"The Guangxi Zhuang autonomous region will pick up strong momentum to spur high-quality development from opportunities found through integrating with the neighbouring Greater Bay Area, the thriving engine for regional growth," said Lu Xinshe, the region's Party secretary.
The press release also revealed that in 2018 Guangxi initiated a major business environment optimisation program that will be undertaken in three years to enhance the level of legality, internationalisation and convenience. In 2019, Guangxi will deepen its major breakthrough-year-campaign of industrial investment promotion, focus on the "strengthen leadership, reinforce chain, assemble cluster" requirements, concentrate on key industries like greater health, big data, greater logistics, new manufacturing, new materials and new energy, and emphatically carry out its global investment promotion plan.
Attracting industries in the Forth Revolution
Among the key investment areas include;
New manufacturing: Introduce projects of industries, like robotics, 3D printing, UAV, smart automobile, aerospace equipment, maritime equipment, advanced rapid transit equipment, science and technology service, culture and creativity.
New materials: Introduce R&D projects of cutting-edge materials industries, like aluminum fine and deep processing, rare earth energy drink, high-performance metal and alloy materials, nano calcium carbonate, laser glass, environment friendly building materials and other high-quality non-metallic materials, graphene and high-temperature superconductor.
New energy: Introduce projects of industries, like NEV whole vehicle and key components and parts like battery and motor, and high-efficiency solar power, marine energy, biomass energy technology and application, energy-conservation technology, environmental technology and resource recycling technology.
In 2019 Guangxi will strive to notch a 50% increase in actually used foreign investment to USD750 million. As such, Guangxi has been dedicated to optimising business environment, in order to be up nationally tier-one standards in seven business environment indicators like enterprise establishment, engineering and construction project application and real estate registration before June.
At the same time, Guangxi will also team up with Chongqing, Sichuan and other provinces and cities in western China to earnestly promote the formation of a new international land-sea trade corridor in western China and attract investment and cooperation globally. The Investment Promotion Agency of Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region suggested the region will leverage the advantages of professional organisations for investment promotion in emerging industries, and carry out professionalized and targeted investment promotion activities, establish a global investment promotion network.
Guangxi spurs up Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Bay Areas
The overall plan of the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area, issued in February 2019, aims to develop the city cluster into a thriving global center of technology and innovation and an economic hub.
The Bay Area, home to 70 million people at the end of 2017, had a combined GDP of about $1.5 trillion at that time, surpassing Australia's GDP, according to the World Bank.
As a neighbour, Guangxi already benefited in 2018, attracting 338 billion yuan ($50.4 billion) in investment from the area, Lu said. That included adding many companies, primarily from the electronic information, textile and clothing industries.
Lu said it's time to promote rapid integration with the Greater Bay Area to build further momentum. The Guangxi government has mapped out the integration plan, with a focus on transportation connectivity, industrial collaboration and personnel exchanges.
Major transportation links
Guangxi is benefiting from major advances in transportation integration. With the opening of Guangzhou-Shenzhen-Hong Kong Express Rail Link, it now takes 4.5 hours to travel by train from Nanning, Guangxi's capital, to Hong Kong, and cargo ships make the trip between Qinzhou in Guangxi and Hong Kong on a daily basis.
Still, access to the Greater Bay Area needs to be improved, Lu said.
"We must accelerate the construction of high-speed railways, expressways and ports to form a multidimensional transportation system linking Guangxi with the Greater Bay Area," he said.
Guangxi also will lure more emerging industries, advanced manufacturing companies and advanced technologies from the area.
One example is Hezhou, Guangxi, a city that makes good use of technology, according to the regional government.
A Shenzhen-based aircraft technology corporation has invested 2.5 billion yuan in Hezhou for aircraft manufacturing and research in an effort to produce 500 airplanes annually there, according to Xinhua News Agency.
The inflow of tech talent is important as well. Such highly-qualified people play a critical role in the process, and the region is prepared to attract them using preferential policies, Lu said.
Guangxi also is prioritising the attraction of foreign investment to help build a high-quality economy in a new era of openness, Lu said. The proposed new law on foreign investment is expected to facilitate regional foreign trade.
"We will continue improving our business environment by reducing the tax burden of foreign enterprises and offering more consultation services," said Lu, adding that the government will create fair and equal competition in the market.
As of the end of 2018, the number of foreign enterprises in Guangxi exceeded 5,000, contributing a total investment volume of $62.7 billion.
Guangxi also is using opportunities such as the China-ASEAN Information Harbor Forum and China-ASEAN Expo to draw foreign investment, especially in advanced manufacturing and modern services, to construct a modern industrial system.
"We are determined to make Guangxi a foreign investment hot spot in the new round of opening-up and achieve high-quality economic development." Lu said.
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