Construction of an ecological gold and jewelry center focusing on intelligent manufacturing in Shunde district of Foshan, Guangdong province, will help introduce more global investors to the district, a local Party official said.
The first phase of the gold and jewelry center, with an investment of 30 billion yuan ($4.34 billion), kicked off construction recently in Shunde. It aims at building a gold and jewelry industrial cluster with a market scale of more than 100 billion yuan.
The project, jointly invested by leading Chinese gold and jewelry companies of Kinghood Group, Shenzhen Liufu Jewelry Culture Industry Co and Zhou Liu Fu Jewelry Co, will become an intelligent and digital gold and jewelry manufacturing center, the local government said.
Currently, imports of rough diamonds for processing in Shunde account for some 70 percent of the country's total, according to the local government.
The project, with a construction area of about 2.6 million square meters, will apply cutting-edge technologies and smart robots to promote high-quality and high-level automatic manufacturing.
"Leveraging digital solutions, the center will also help optimize the entire production chain, upstream raw material supply chain, research and design and smart retailing of gold and jewelry," said Liu Zhiyong, Party secretary of Shunde.
The local government has issued a series of preferential policies, including a supportive fund of 50 million yuan each year, to help boost the development of the gold and jewelry industry, Liu said.
Among companies that have agreed to launch projects in the center, Shenzhen Shunyi Jewelry Co Ltd said it will soon apply several advanced technologies and automatic precision manufacturing instruments in its workshop.
"Our workshop in the center is expected to attract more talent specialized in the gold and jewelry industry of the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area and help accelerate digitalization and intelligence for the entire industry," said Guo Lichun, chairman of the company.
In addition, the center will also introduce a number of leading international gold and jewelry brands, luxury hotels, shopping malls, grade-A office buildings and research, educational and health institutions, to make it a flagship project integrating the elements of various industries.
Prior to the construction, the local government signed cooperative agreements with 28 financial, testing and research organizations and gold and jewelry companies from the GBA.
Citing the gold and jewelry industry's role in promoting domestic consumption, Xiang Songzuo, a market insider, said the ecological center will help greatly boost local economic development.
"Based on its strong manufacturing strength, the gold and jewelry industry, which is one of the five strategic pillar industries in Foshan, is expected to become a new growth engine for the local economy," Xiang said.
A training base providing services such as talent training and skill identification will be established in the center, said Xu Jun, vice-chairman of the Young Entrepreneurs Committee of the China Jewelry and Jade Industry Association.
"In the process of upgrading the gold and jewelry industry amid the rapid improvement of digital intelligence, developing talent is particularly important," Xu said.