With Guangzhou actively working to diversify and modernize its rural areas, the Chamber undertook a mission to the city on 21-22 September to tap business opportunities and see firsthand the developments in the districts of Zengcheng and Conghua.
Guangzhou is sparing no efforts to develop 11 key sectors via various rural revitalization strategies to promote balanced social and economic development, as per the long-term “Plan to Advance Agricultural and Rural Modernization,” and in line with China’s 14th Five-Year Plan.
Ecological and cultural tourism is also being given a fillip as a pillar industry. For example, Conghua and Zengcheng are already undergoing urban-rural integrated development, with a focus on boosting modern agricultural industrial parks and rural tourism.
Petrina Tam, Convenor of the GBA Working Group, pointed out that revenue from rural tourism in China reached RMB 40 billion in 2020. “With the consumption upgrade of urban and rural residents, rural tourism has become an emerging industry in rural areas, presenting a promising outlook for rural development in Guangzhou,” she said. “In view of this, the aim of the mission is to look into the progress of rural revitalization and modernization in Guangzhou within the GBA, as well as tapping into opportunities for cooperation with Zengcheng businesses.”
Tam was joined on the mission by General Committee member Edmond Yue, China Committee Vice Chairman Edmond Yew and Chamber CEO Patrick Yeung.
Lying to the east of Guangzhou, Zengcheng is known as the hometown of lychees. In 2022, GDP surpassed RMB 132.5 billion. Ecological tourism is the mainstay of the northern areas, while the district’s centre is its political, cultural and economic heart. The southern parts serve as a comprehensive service hub for talent flow, fund raising and industrial relocation.
On the first day of the mission, members joined the Zengcheng Promotional Seminar for a presentation on the latest developments in the district. Pun Pang, President of CCPIT Zengcheng Sub-council, said Zengcheng ranked first in the Pearl River Delta region in terms of rural revitalization, and fifth in Guangzhou in terms of tax revenue. He added that the Guangdong Government has clearly positioned Zengcheng as Guangzhou’s eastern hub.
Tam said with its clear positioning and abundant natural resources, Zengcheng could develop ecological tourism through attractions and tourist draws such as its hot springs, orchards and golf amenities, thus diversifying growth in rural areas.
The itinerary included a visit to Visionox Technology Co., Ltd. to learn about products from Guangdong’s first AMOLED module production line and the company’s innovative R&D achievements, as well as a tour of the 180-year-old Deng Stone House Pastoral Resort, which is home to well-preserved examples of traditional Hakka and Lingnan architecture.
Conghua, labelled “Guangzhou’s back garden,” has in recent years been committed to developing emerging industries such as cultural tourism, with a view to gradually bringing about greater integration and industrial diversification. Currently, around 30,000 residents are involved in leisure- and recreation-related sectors in the district’s rural areas. Conghua is also notable for its livestock production, with output ranked first in Guangzhou.
During an excursion to Luodong Craftsman Town, the delegation joined a forum hosted by Zhou Gengbin, Deputy Director of Conghua District. Zhou said Conghua is an important ecological hinterland in the GBA with rich resources, and is keen on creating a first-class business environment to attract foreign capital and promote high quality development.
Huang Yonghao, Project Director of Luodong Craftsman Town, discussed the integration of commercial, artistic and public well-being aspects into the town’s various projects. He said this would help to sustain economic growth, generate rural employment and wealth and, ultimately, further facilitate urban and rural economic integration.
Other site visits in Conghua included Guangzhou Shunchangyuan Wine & Spirit. Delegates sampled the winery’s famous products and were also treated to the wine President Xi Jinping offered French President Emmanuel Macron during an informal meeting in April this year.
Members also stopped by Guangzhou Extraction Biology Technology Co., Ltd. to learn about the production and processing of wheat germ, as well as the industry chain of the company’s food brand Jinglipei.
With the trip coinciding with the Chinese Farmers’ Harvest Festival, the team joined in the celebrations put on at AIRice Town, a cutting-edge agriculture and cultural tourism project, as part of nationwide activities.