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The southern city of Zhongshan in Guangdong province has witnessed an influx of capital, technology and talent in parallel with its continually improving business environment.
On Wednesday, 44 new investment projects were signed at the opening of the 2018 Zhongshan Trade, Investment and Top Talent Fair - the city"s most important annual event aimed at attracting funds and professionals.
Of the projects, 12 involve greater regional cooperation and the construction of heavyweight innovation platforms, nine will bring in new scientific and innovation teams, 17 focus on high-end manufacturing services, while the other six are aimed at culture and tourism.
All these new projects are in line with the city"s strategic positioning, which is to become a world-leading manufacturing base, a regional transportation hub, an industrial innovation center and a leading historical and cultural destination, according to Chen Xudong, Party secretary of Zhongshan, at the fair"s opening ceremony.
As one of the key cities in the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area, Chen said Zhongshan will develop alongside its peers in the area, including some stronger partners such as Hong Kong, Shenzhen and Guangzhou, in order to contribute to the growth of the bay area.
In one of the 44 projects, the department of commerce of Zhongshan signed an agreement with the Hong Kong Trade Development Council. It will deepen bilateral collaboration in terms of industrial integration, mutual promotion of trade and commerce platforms, scientific innovation and business startups for young people.
In another arrangement, the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology has agreed to set up an innovation center in Zhongshan, which will bring together innovative resources and human resources in the Bay Area.
"The government will spare no effort to create a top-level business environment and better serve the companies and professionals," Chen said.
Jiao Lansheng, mayor of Zhongshan, said the fiscal department has set up a fund of 2.2 billion yuan ($349.5 million) earlier this year to support industrial development.
Starting from last December, the city government launched a series of incentive policies to cut costs and increase subsidies for companies, Jiao said.
Manufacturers that carry out technical upgrades can receive government subsidies of up to 5 million yuan for a single project, he added.
Zhongshan-based companies that become listed in domestic or overseas stock markets can also receive a subsidy of up to 7 million yuan.
In addition, the Zhongshan government has streamlined its administrative approval services for businesses, in particular those with new investment projects. The city"s administrative service center is the largest in the province, covering 38,000 square meters.
A team of more than 300 government officials and public servants has been established from different government departments to serve companies like "housekeepers" in order to solve their problems as fast as possible, according to the mayor.
"We are dedicated to improving the accuracy and effectiveness of government services and render all-round support to companies in terms of research and development, public services, talent introduction and intellectual property protection," Mayor Jiao added.