China Daily 2020-06-24
In 2019, a highlight of Foshan's economic development was that its GDP surpassed 1 trillion yuan ($141.2 billion). It became the 17th city on the Chinese mainland to pass the milestone.
The achievement was largely reached by the manufacturing sector of the city in Guangdong province. Industrial output value increased from about 1.37 billion yuan in 1978 to 2.16 trillion yuan in 2018.
Insiders said cities with GDP exceeding 1 trillion yuan are generally strong in the manufacturing industry, yet Foshan stands out among them. The secondary sector has long accounted for more than 50 percent of the city's GDP.
Its proportion was 56.5 percent in 2018 whereas the industry in most of other 1-trillion-yuan cities accounts for less than 45 percent of their GDP.
The percentage is closely related to Foshan's development strategy where manufacturing is the root, local officials said.
Lu Yi, the city's Party secretary, recently said Foshan will increase its efforts to develop two large industrial clusters. They will focus on equipment manufacturing and household commodities, and promote the former to become more automated and intelligent.
It would also support the production of new energy vehicles and auto parts and foster four large sectors: smart equipment and robots; new materials; food and beverage; and the biopharmaceutical and healthcare field.
Foshan is the first city on the Pearl River's western bank whose GDP has surpassed 1 trillion yuan. It is also the third in Guangdong province, coming after Guangzhou in 2010 and Shenzhen in 2011.
It made Guangdong the second province nationally, following Jiangsu, to boast three such cities.
The State Council designated Foshan as a trade center and a transport hub in the western wing of the Pearl River Delta in 2017.
In recent years, Guangdong has required Foshan and Zhuhai leaders to develop the industrial belt of advanced equipment manufacturing on the Pearl River's western bank.
Among Foshan's manufacturers is PowerTECH, which provides semiconductor test equipment. More than 30 percent of its products are bought by international semiconductor device companies.
Foshan took advantage of the opportunities presented by the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area to further improve its advanced manufacturing in 2019.
The city's Gaoming district saw the arrival of hydrogen-powered trams in late 2019. Local authorities aim to foster an industrial cluster of new energy vehicles and auto parts. Its output value is projected to exceed 30 billion yuan in 2020.
On Foshan's top 100 enterprises list for 2019, most are manufacturers that had grown locally.
Guangdong Huate Gas went public on China's sci-tech innovation board in December. Its products have been used in integrated circuit and aerospace fields. The company's development is the epitome of Foshan focusing on high-quality manufacturing, local media reported.
Key technologies are becoming increasingly important for the city's manufacturing sector. The region is promoting platforms, such as an innovation cluster and a high-tech zone.
The cluster, involving the city's three main districts, is home to Jihua Laboratory. It focuses on the research of advanced manufacturing science and technology. The lab has attracted 28 innovation teams and 500 researchers.
Ouyang Zheng, dean of the precision instruments department at Tsinghua University, said: "There is enormous space for cooperation between Tsinghua and Foshan-based businesses."
At an industry-university-research cooperation event in late 2019, 35 experts from Tsinghua brought projects to Foshan, exploring cooperation opportunities with local companies.
In recent years, the city saw its businesses become more creative as they made contact with resources from other regions. Foshan was home to 4,873 high-tech companies in 2019, a year-on-year rise of 23.4 percent.
Half of its large industrial enterprises have links to research and development organizations, which provide key support for the high-quality development of the local manufacturing industry.
Source: China Daily