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Investment, research environment draws global companies to pioneering opening-up stronghold

By Yuan Shenggao | China Daily | Updated: 2017-10-19 07:15

A pioneer in China's opening-up and economic reform, Sichuan has become a hotbed for multinationals in terms of its investment environment and research and development amid the nation's Belt and Road Initiative, according to senior executives.

By the first half of this year, the province was home to 331 Fortune Global 500 companies.

The province will play a more active role in the world economy by improving its competitiveness through partnerships with leading international groups, the top executives added.

An examples is the global R&D center and the intelligent manufacturing innovation center - joint projects signed between the Chengdu Hi-Tech Industrial Development Zone and German group Siemens - with a total investment of some 1 billion yuan ($154 million).

Wang Haibin, vice-president and general manager of the digital factory in Siemens China, said that the R&D center will be the first of its kind to focus on the what it calls Mind-Sphere.

Investment, research environment draws global companies to pioneering opening-up stronghold

This is open, cloud-based internet of things operating system and the company believes it is destined to become an important part of Siemens' global innovation network.

The firm said it will fuel the city's economic growth in such areas as the industrial cloud, industrial networking, industrial data and other intelligent manufacturing fields.

The manufacturing innovation center is aiming to promote manufacturing industry transformation and digital upgrading in Sichuan by working with local universities, enterprises and other partners. In July, Siemens signed an understanding of memorandum with the China National Development and Reform Commission, covering the digital technology innovation and application cooperation areas.

Siemens said it will respond to the China Manufacturing 2025 strategy and Internet Plus strategy, actively sharing technology and solutions with digital companies, and supporting the industrial transformation and upgrading in China.

Wu Yongxin, senior vice-president of the company, said that the two centers would implement Siemens' latest practices, and help Chengdu move into a leading position in domestic digital and industrial internet development.

"It is also a demonstration model for national digital users," he added.

Another example is the 12-inch wafer manufacturing base in the zone established by Global Foundries, the world's second-biggest wafer foundry chip maker.

With a total investment of more than $10 billion, it will enable Chengdu to establish an integrated circuit industry chain and be involved in the international division's operations after its completion in March next year.

Sanjay Jha, chief executive of Global Foundries, said that this is the biggest and most advanced wafer foundry in China and will further boost Global Foundries' development in the Chinese market.

"Because of the sophisticated infrastructure, skilled labor, and a number of leading technology companies gathering in the city, we believe that Chengdu is an excellent partner for this project," Jha said.

Other local enterprises that contributed to the city's internationalization include Sichuan Changhong Electric Co, and Chengdu Xinzhu Road and Bridge Machinery Co Ltd (Xinzhu Corporation).

Changhong has established 14 overseas subsidiaries, among them units in Spain, France, Italy and Australia.

It has over 2,000 overseas employees and localization employment rate at around 80 percent, according to Huang Dawen, deputy general manager of the company.

Xinzhu was one of the first batch of Chinese companies to settle in the China-Belarus Industrial Park and it is known as a model for the combination of Chinese high-tech and the Belorussian traditional local manufacturing industry.

Sichuan is pushing to expand trade volumes with the countries involved in the Belt and Road Initiative from $20 billion to $25 billion, and two-way investment from $1.3 billion to $1.8 billion, according to the province's policies under the Belt and Road Initiative.

Investment, research environment draws global companies to pioneering opening-up stronghold

Investment, research environment draws global companies to pioneering opening-up stronghold

Investment, research environment draws global companies to pioneering opening-up stronghold

Siemens' automatic production line for industrial products in Chengdu, Sichuan Province.

(China Daily 10/19/2017 page17)

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