Chengdu plans to nurture innovation

Updated: 2016-03-10 23:10

By Huang Zhiling(

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Chengdu, the capital of the Sichuan province, has vowed to increase its innovation-driven development within the next three years.

It aims to create a better environment for innovation and entrepreneurship, invest an increasing amount of money in science and technology and ensure faster commercialization of the fruits of scientific research.

The ambition reinforces a decision made in December 2015 during the sixth plenary session of the Chengdu municipal committee of the Communist Party of China to speed up construction of an internationally influential regional center for innovation and entrepreneurship in Chengdu.

The city also aims, within five years, to become the first in western China to realize innovation-driven development, driving its economic system and development model, and plans to become a State-level innovative city.

The ambitious plans come in the wake of a decision adopted in September by the central government to build a State-level experimental zone for comprehensive innovation and reform.

The zone includes Beijing, Tianjin and Hebei province in North China, Shanghai and Anhui province in East China, Guangdong province in South China, Sichuan in Southwest China, Wuhan in Central China's Hubei province, Xi'an in Northwest China's Shaanxi province and Shenyang in Northeast China's Liaoning province.

The central government considers comprehensive innovation and reform key to breaking a bottleneck hindering innovation-driven development and has designated Chengdu to play the most important role in Sichuan's contribution to the construction of the experimental zone.

Chengdu, a center of science and technology in western China, hosted the 2015 Global Innovation and Entrepreneurship Fair from Nov 9 through 11.

It was China's first global innovation and entrepreneurship fair and drew government officials and representatives from risk investment organizations, scientific research institutes, institutions of higher learning and innovative enterprises in 30 countries and regions, who reached the Chengdu Consensus during the fair.

According to the consensus, innovation and entrepreneurship have been chosen as the means to boost economic development by many nations. They are viewed as eternal themes for the development of human society and a powerful engine for economic development.

Some 150 institutional investors took part in the fair with 2,686 projects, 109 of which changed hands with transactions totaling 5.32 billion yuan (about $817 million).

Participants from home and abroad acclaimed Chengdu as the host city.

Zhang Zhihong is chief of the Torch High Technology Industry Development Center of China's Ministry of Science and Technology.

He considers Chengdu a charming city.

It previously impressed visitors as a city of fine food, long history and a happy lifestyle for locals, he said, but it now may have a new label as a city for enterprising people to realize their dreams.

Carmen Cano de Lasala is the deputy head of the EU delegation to China and has been to Chengdu nine times in the past decade. The city has impressed her as one of the most dynamic and fastest-growing in China.

“I am more than happy to find out that Chengdu has become the choicest venue for investment by many European firms,” she said. “I am also more than happy to find out that the firms are expanding and gaining a big market share there.”

EBN is a network of about 150 quality-certified EU business and innovation centers, and organizations backing innovative entrepreneurs, startups, small and medium-sized firms.

Its president Alvaro Simon de Blas said his brief visit to Chengdu during the fair revealed to him a promising city in western China. The vigor and potential of innovative firms there left a deep impression on him.

He said Chengdu is similar to EBN in backing the development of small and medium-sized firms.

Chengdu has a very good environment for being innovative and enterprising and has longstanding friendship and cooperation with the European Union, he said. It also has many opportunities to encourage and attract EBN to develop in the city.

In the wake of its success in 2015, the Global Innovation and Entrepreneurship Fair will be held in Chengdu again in July.