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Global appeal on green Zhongshan, the dream builder in the Greater Bay Area

ZHONGSHAN, China, April 1, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- The 2019 Zhongshan Trade and Investment Fair & Top Talent Networking kicked off at the Zhongshan Expo Center on March 28. The event is organized by the People's Government of Zhongshan Municipality to attract investment and talents while promoting the city image. It is of great significance to Zhongshan, hometown of Sun Yat-sen who was the great pioneer of Chinese democratic revolution, especially against the backdrop of constructing the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area, the outline development plan of which was released a month ago.

The opening saw the signing of 41 projects, of which 12 are worth over one billion yuan (USD 149 million) for each and 15 are from such countries and regions as the US, the UK, Japan, Sweden and Hong Kong. On its sidelines, six forums were held on the future growth of Zhongshan and its AI and health care industries, and 15 other activities were designed to draw talents.

From a bird's-eye view of the Greater Bay Area, one can spot an A-shaped urban cluster linked by the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macao Bridge and the Shenzhen-Zhongshan Bridge, which is under construction. Zhongshan, connecting key cities in the Greater Bay Area, is set to leverage the unique geographical advantage to bolster the integrated development of the east and west banks of the Pearl River. Going ahead, it will build into a hub along the coastal economic belt and an important pole of the Greater Bay Area.

Matteo Pallotta, Co-founder of Wherefor, said his company would offer the Zhongshan government and institutions advice on scientific research and innovation to promote investment and cooperation. Appreciating Zhongshan's prime location and business environment, he is much confident about the future of the city and that of the Greater Bay Area.

"A host of experts from Hong Kong scientific and technological communities joined the fair and inspected the city's industries, talent resources and business climate," said Dr. Xie Yongning, Director of Allied Rich Asia Limited. HK Association for the Advancement of Science and Technology will launch 100 projects in Zhongshan this June and July in the areas of AI, biomedicine, the Internet, new energy and intelligent manufacturing.

Given the sound business atmosphere, Akeso Biopharma was founded in Zhongshan seven years ago, which is now an innovative biotechnology company that boasts many patented technologies and globally competitive R&D capabilities. Akeso has authorized its independently-developed AK107 to Merck Sharp & Dohme, the global pharmaceutical giant, for development and marketing at USD 200 million. Another major product, AK104, world's first PD-1/CTLA-4 bispecific antibody for immune therapy of cancer, has been used in clinical trials. Dr. Li Baiyong, Akeso's vice president and chief science officer, is full of expectations for the era of the Greater Bay Area, and all the talents, outstanding platforms and growth opportunities for local companies brought by it.

"The city promises to set its positioning right and leverage its strengths in ways to comprehensively drive the development of the Greater Bay Area," said Chen Xudong, the city's party committee secretary, adding that it is committed to sharing benefits with the global investing and business communities.

Strolling on the streets in Sanxi, a small village in downtown Zhongshan, British teacher Poulton Thomas was greeted with antique buildings, thriving plants and wall paintings with the Lingnan characteristics. After that, he went for featured delicacies at the restaurant called "Yunlaiyun", which in his word was a land of peace in the hustle and bustle.

Over recent years, Zhongshan has been committed to green development. It was recognized as the National Forest City in 2018, with urban forest and greening coverage rates reaching 35.48% and 43.14%, respectively. Pristine villages and ancient complexes with Lingnan features have been well preserved. Those villages like Sanxi, instead of giving way to commercial housing, have been restored, protected and renovated to develop into sites of peace, serving as the special communities to promote local culture and delicacies.

The Outline Development Plan for the Greater Bay Area proposed the building of a quality living circle for living, working and traveling. Zhongshan is set to establish an international communication center of Sun Yat-sen Culture to expand cultural exchanges and develop a tour route system for cultural heritage in the Greater Bay Area. As an important node city, it is seeing a cultured and healthy Bay Area for leisure taking shape.

Great efforts will also be made to transform the Wuguishan Preserve into the "lung" of the Greater Bay Area. On top of that, urban park clusters, including Jinzhong Lake, and the national wetland park in the east coastal district will see accelerated progress. That is how the city leads the Greater Bay Area in green development.

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