Located at the heart of the Pearl River Delta(PRD), one of the most economically vibrant areas of Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area(GBA), Foshan enjoys excellent geographic advantage. Foshan and Guangzhou put in place the "Guangzhou-Foshan Metropolitan Circle", and Foshan leads the economic development of Guangdong Province.
Adjacent to Hong Kong Special Administrative Region and Macau Special Administrative Region, Foshan is within two-hour drive away from those two regions. With Guangzhou-Shenzhen High Speed Railway and Guangzhou-Zhuhai Intercity Rapid Rail, the three cities(Foshan, Hong Kong and Macao) have formed "1-hour Transportation Circle".
At present, Foshan governs five districts, namely, Chancheng District, Nanhai District, Shunde District, Gaoming District and Sanshui District.
I. Foshan, a famous city of Lingnan culture with profound accumulation
Foshan, "Founded in Jin and Named in Tang", was originally named Jihuaxiang. In the 2nd year of Zhenguan Period of Tang Dynasty (628 AD), three statues of Buddha were unearthed from Tapo Hill in the city, by which the place was then revered as a Buddhist land. A stone tablet inscribed with the name of Foshan was then erected. The city has been ever since renamed as Foshan for 1388 years till now, which is literally interpreted in Chinese as Hill of Buddha.
Tang and Song Dynasties were marked as the two most important periods for the significant business flourishing in Foshan. The city was crowned as a desirable place for handicraft industry, business and cultural activities. In Ming and Qing Dynasties, Foshan developed into one of the Four Well-known Towns in China together with Hankou in Hubei Province, Jingde in Jiangxi Province and Zhuxian in Henan Province, and one of the Four Commercial Centers in China together with Beijing, Hankou and Suzhou. The city boasted its strong presence in the sectors of textile, ceramics, foundry and medicine in South China, and became a famous distribution center for Guangdong products and North China products. At the end of Qing Dynasty, with the naissance of China's first filature factory and match factory in Foshan, Foshan became one of the birthplaces of modern national industry in China.
Foshan, with a long history and rich culture, is one of the birthplaces of Lingnan Culture. Foshan has been famous for being Hometown of Ceramics, Hometown of Canton Opera, Hometown of Martial Arts, Hometown of Canton Silk, Hometown of Patent Medicine in Lingnan Region, Hometown of Folk Arts. Foshan has gestated many folk customs, including Qiuse (Parade celebrating autumn harvest and Xingtongji (Walking through the Tongji Bridge on the Lantern Day), etc.
Known as Hometown of Ceramics, Foshan has enjoyed the reputation of "Ceramics from Shiwan, the Best Under the Sun" ever since ancient times. Nanfeng Ancient Kiln, built in Zhengde period of Ming Dynasty, is the oldest wood-firing kiln existing in the world. The kiln has been used for more than 500 years without stopping production and is reputed as "Living Fossil of Ceramics".
Foshan is also known as Hometown of Canton Opera and the birthplace of Canton Opera--merited as Red Bean in South China. Foshan is home to "Artists in the Red Boat" (referred to the Canton Opera artists) and Qionghua Hall (the earliest Canton Opera organization). In 2013, Nanhai District was honored with the title of "Hometome of Chinese Opera Arts".
Known as the Hometown of martial arts, Foshan is the place where southern martial arts originated, represented by Cai Lifo boxing style, Hong boxing style and Wing Chun boxing style. Famous Kongfu master Wong Feihong, Liang Zan, Yip Man and Kung Fu film star Bruce Lee, of Foshan origin, learned the martial arts in Foshan. In 2004, Foshan was awarded the title of "City of Martial Arts".
Being the hometown of lion dance, Foshan is the birth-land of southern lion dance and the frist "National Famous City of Lion Dance and Dragon Boat". Chancheng District is awarded the "Hometown of China Dragon and Lion Dance" and Xiqiao township of Nanhai District is the only “China Famous Township of Dragon and Lion Dance" nationwide.
Foshan has long been widely regarded as the basis for exquisite Cantonese cuisine and the cradle of Cantonese cuisine chefs. It was praised as the "City of Cantonese Gourmet" by China Cuisine Association. In 2014, Shunde joined the UNESCO Creative Cities Network as the City of Gastronomy.
Foshan is the "Hometown of Patent Medicine in Lingnan Region". With a history of over 400 years, Foshan boasted a full range of excellent traditional Chinese medicines, including those time-honored brands such as Huang Xianghua Medicine Oil, Feng Liaoxing Medicated Wine and Yuan Jilin Herbal Tea, etc.
"Xingtongji"(Walking through the Tongji Bridge on the Lantern Day), initiated in the Late Ming Dynasty, has been well preserved till now and is becoming a modern charity fest. Every year hundreds of thousands of Foshan citizens participate in the event of "Xingtongji".
Foshan is Home to a Galaxy of Talented People. Ever since ancient times, Foshan has been home to a galaxy of talented people. Since Tang and Song Dynasty, nine of the national academic and martial arts champions were from Guangdong, and five of them were from Foshan. The city prides itself on many outstanding historical figures like Kang Youwei, pioneer of the Constitutional Reform in 1898, political activists like Zhang Menghuan, Dai Hongci, Tan Pingshan, He Xiangning, Luo Dengxian and Deng Pei, entrepreneurs like Chen Qiyuan and Jian Yujie, scientists like Zhan Tianyou, Zou Boqi, writers like Wu Yanren, famous Canton Opera artists like Xue Juexian, Ma Shizeng, martial artists like Liang Zan, Huang Feihong, Ye Wen and Bruce Lee, famous doctors like Li Guanghai, craftsmen like Huang bing, Chen Weiyan, Liu Chuan, and the first Chinese priest -- Liang Fa.
II. Foshan, a manufacturing base with distinctive development features
Since China's reform and opening up, the industrious and credible Foshan people have been working hard to seize the opportunities to start and develop their business, building Foshan into a well-known manufacturing base in China.
Manufacturing industry leading economic development. In 2015, Foshan was designated as the national pilot city for comprehensive reform on industry transformation and upgrading. The city has formed its leading position in various industries, including machinery equipment, household appliances, ceramic products and building materials, metal processing and products, textile and garment, electronic information, food and beverage, fine chemicals and pharmacy, and housewares, etc. Emerging industries like opto-electronic devices, environment-friendly products, new materials, new medicines and new energy vehicle are rising. A modern industrial system with increasingly comprehensive supporting functions is taking shape.
III. Foshan, striving to build itself into a National Innovation City
In recent years, Foshan has energetically implemented the strategy of innovation-driven development and the strategy of integrated development of finance-technology-industry, with the goal of building a national innovation city. A number of innovation carriers and teams have emerged. Innovation companies have been improved and key technological breakthroughs have been made. All these have significantly promoted the city's industrial transformation and upgrading, as well as the development of newly-emerged industries.
Science and technology innovation promotes the economy. A company-leading innovation system is the key to Foshan's industrial transformation and upgrading. In recent years, the city has been increasing its input in science and technology, which leads to a rising public investment in science and technology. And the percentage of R&D input in the total GDP enjoys a continuous growth. Foshan was awarded the title of National Model City of Intellectual Property Work and National Pilot Zone for Intellectual Property Service Clusters.
Financial innovation serves the real economy. With strong financial strength in the private sector, Foshan sees huge potential for the finance market. A large number of financial institutions in Foshan have been a great support for the development of the real economy. By setting up special funds and taking related measures, the city helped ease the financing difficulties for small and medium sized enterprises.
Quality platforms boost high-end industry development. Foshan now hosts three major Hi-tech platforms: Foshan National Hi-tech Industrial Zone, Guangdong Hi-tech Service Zone for Financial Institutions and Sino-German Industrial Services Zone. Notably, Sino-German Industrial Services Zone is an important node of coordinated development in the Pearl River Delta Area and also the core component of the "strong center" strategy of the Foshan Municipal Party Committee and Foshan Government. And Sanlongwan Innovation Cluster, located in the southeast of Foshan, is expected to be built as a high-quality development model area in Foshan in the new era, a pilot zone of city-wide cooperation in the Greater Bay Area, and a global innovative demonstration zone for advanced manufacturing application. In addition, there are a number of industrial platforms and bases in Foshan such as South China Intellectual Valley, Guangdong Industrial Design City, Smart New City, Lvdao Lake Metropolitan Industrial Zone, Foshan Pan-Household E-commerce Creative Park, China-Europe Technological Cooperation Industrial Park, Guangdong Intellectual Manufacturing Industrial Base, Guangdong New Light Source Industrial Base,etc.
IV.Foshan, a city with supreme administrative and business environment
Foshan, renowned for its pioneering spirit and pragmatic attitude, has always been a vanguard of reform in the country and the province. It is a pilot city for deepening the administrative reform and a pilot city of building a law-based international business environment in Guangdong province.
Foshan is one of the first cities to propose the concept of the integration of "online inquiries, online administration, and online supervision". Foshan is also the first to initiate the pilot project of "Window for Citizens", the self-service application. In addition, the 12345 administration platform has combined calling station and dispatch system.
V. Foshan, a city advocating open,inclusiveness and win-win cooperation
Foshan is one of the earliest trading ports in China's history and one of the earliest commodity export bases since the reform and opening up. Its products have been exported to over 100 countries and regions. Foshan is also a renowned hometown for overseas Chinese with over 1.48 million Chinese of Foshan's descent living in Hongkong, Macao and other regions of the world.
Foshan has been continuously expanding its foreign exchanges. Sister city relations with Itami of Japan, Port Louis of Mauritius, Stockton of the United States, Ingolstadt of Germany and other foreign cities have been established. Foshan received "The Award to Friendship Cities for Exchanges and Cooperation". Foshan also launched the initiative to build "Sino-German Industrial Cities Alliance" with Bremen, Hanover and other cities at home and abroad.