CHENGDU, China, Feb. 19, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- Eleven years ago, Thomas Friedman's The World is Flat vividly predicted that new technologies and multinational capital was shifting the world toward a state where traditional borders and divisions would become irrelevant. These words ring true; the Chengdu Hi-tech Zone (CDHT) started in 2015 with a small plot of land measuring 130km2 and has assembled more than 6,500 tech companies that have applied for more than 18,000 patents. This is only the beginning: the aspiration is to turn the Zone into western China's "Silicon Valley" and an "international innovation and start-up center."
Xiong Ping, Deputy Director of the CDHT's Development and Planning Bureau, points to Chengdu on a map and says: "In the realm of global innovation, our location is no longer in isolation. On the contrary, distance-wise we are closer to Europe than Beijing, Shanghai, Shenzhen and other eastern Chinese cities. The Internet and more than 80 international flights have helped Chengdu quickly integrate into the global innovation chain. Thomas Friedman's predictions are becoming a reality."
After more than two decades of playing catch-up, Chengdu is now shoulder-to-shoulder with the world's leading economic powers, and an increasing number of our technological products and innovative services are entering the European and American markets. The Martin Prosperity Institute's recently-published Rise of the Global Startup City indicates that Chengdu has received more venture capital than any other Chinese cities except Beijing and Shanghai, and the figure is similar to many European and American cities.
Xiong explains that innovation has already become one of China's "basic national strategies." Last June, CDHT was approved by the State Council to be the first National Innovation Demonstration Zone in the western China. Last October, Li Keqiang, Prime Minister of China, and Park Geun-hye, the president of South Korea, announced the set up of the China-South Korea Innovation & Entrepreneurship Park in Chengdu. The CDHT also devotes itself to a deeper collaboration in creativity with other countries.
The Zone has proposed the construction of a five million square meter innovation incubator and the establishment of coordinated innovation funds totaling RMB 5 billion. Goals for 2020 include total economic output of RMB 1 trillion, 10,000 technology companies, 10,000 innovation and start-up talents, more than 11,000 invention patents and 1,000 international, national or industry standards.
SOURCE Chengdu High-tech Industrial Development Zone