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Economic zone goes cultural
By Xiao Liu (China Daily)
Updated: 2004-05-13 22:34

The First International Cultural Industry Fair Shenzhen will be held in the economic zone in South China's Guangdong Province from November 18 to 22, Shenzhen Mayor Li Hongzhong announced.

The fair, which will be held every two years, is believed to be a move by Shenzhen to develop the cultural industry into a new economic advantage after the city seems to have gradually lost its leading status in economic development on the Chinese mainland.

Over 800 Chinese and overseas cultural companies, such as Disney, have applied to attend the fair which will be held at the Shenzhen High-Tech Fair Hall, Li said at a press conference on Wednesday.

The fair will be jointly held by the Cultural Industry Department of the Ministry of Culture, the Guangdong Provincial Cultural Bureau, the Guangdong Provincial Radio, Film and TV Bureau, the Guangdong Provincial Bureau for Press and Publication and the Shenzhen municipal government.

As the first-ever international cultural industry fair on the Chinese mainland, the event will also be the second national regular international fair to be held in Shenzhen following the China High-tech Fair.

"Although not widely known, the cultural industry in Shenzhen has witnessed considerable development in recent years," Li said.

The cultural industry has become a major economic pillar in the city, with a 4.73 per cent contribution to the city's gross domestic product (GDP) last year, said Li.

Originally, Shenzhen targetted its high-tech, logistics and financial industries for long-term development.

Shenzhen, in close proximity to Hong Kong, is one of the Chinese mainland's five special economic zones and is well-known for its economic success over the past two decades.

But in recent years, many people have doubted whether Shenzhen has lost its leading role after foreign investment, multinational headquarters and senior professionals are preferring to choose Shanghai, Beijing and even Guangzhou.

In the plan to develop the cultural industry during the country's 10th Five-Year-Plan period (2001-05), China is hoping to achieve an annual growth rate of over 20 per cent in the added value of cultural undertakings.

The country expects its cultural industry will contribute 2 per cent to its GDP by the end of the 10th Five-Year-Plan period.

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