Guangzhou Knowledge City starts to take shape

October 30, 2017

Ascendas OneHub GKC, an integrated business park jointly developed by Singapore's Ascendas Group and GKC JV company.

Guangzhou Dongfang International Healthcare Valley provides a cooperation platform between existing medical care resources in Guangzhou and high-end overseas medical research institutes.

After driving northeast for 35 minutes on the highway from Guangzhou Baiyun International Airport, while enjoying the picturesque views of South China, I arrived at Jiulong Avenue which runs through the core area of Sino-Singapore Guangzhou Knowledge City (SSGKC), an iconic project involving China-Singapore cooperation. Driving further south along the boulevard, I arrived at an exhibition hall in the heart of the Southern Start-Up Area (SUA), the Knowledge City's 6.27-square-kilometer center.

What was once a vast rural area five years ago is now a huge development site, with ofice buildings, research centers, shopping malls and highrise residential buildings in various stages of development. Construction of Jiulong Avenue and the neighboring roads are almost complete. A subway that links SSGKC with Guangzhou's city center is under construction and is expected to be in operation by 2017.

When all the planned construction is completed, SSGKC, which covers 123 sq km, hopes to become a unique, vibrant and sustainable city accommodating half a million people, including professionals and talents.

City planners explained that the city is positioned to attract knowledge-based industries, including next-generation information and communication technology, biotechnology and pharmaceuticals, and clean technology. Through these, SSGKC hopes to serve as a model and catalyst for economic upgrading in South China.

As of the end of June, SSGKC had introduced 109 high-end industrial projects with a total investment of 39 billion yuan ($6.3 billion), according to city officials. The development of infrastructure is also accelerating. A total of 152 infrastructure and public service projects are expected to be completed in the next few years. Five years after SSGKC was established, the city's future prospects have attracted people to move to and live in the area.

Opposite the exhibition hall is SSGKC's first business park, Ascendas OneHub GKC, an integrated business park jointly developed by Singapore's Ascendas Group and GKC JV company. The 30-hectare business park will be developed to provide 600,000-sq-m of floor space for offices and related facilities, offering a one-stop "work, live and play" location for innovation and knowledge-based enterprises.

Construction of the 200,000-sq-m first phase area is on schedule and due for completion by early 2017. The first buildings are expected to ready for occupancy by the end of 2015. The park is targeting Fortune 500 enterprises, transnational corporations and independent innovation enterprises with advanced technology. Planners said industries would include next generation information and communications technology, culture and creative, services outsourcing, energy saving and environmental protection.

Next to the Ascendas One-Hub GKC is the Dongfang International Healthcare Valley. Occupying a planned area of 2 sq km, the valley will provide a cooperation platform between existing medical care resources in Guangzhou and high-end medical research institutes from Singapore, the United States and other countries. The project envisions an international healthcare services hub, including research and development, medical treatment and disease prevention, and rehabilitation services. It aims to attract world-class medical research and service institutions, promote high-end medical care and pharmaceutical industries and offer customized, international and comprehensive care to patients.

The first phase of the project includes the Sun Yat-sen University-afiliated South China Tumor Hospital, Guangzhou Taihe Cancer Hospital, Guangzhou Royal Cancer Hospital and two proton therapy centers, making it one of the most advanced tumor treatment and rehabilitation centers in South China.

Another zone in the SUA, which SSGKC has prioritized for development, is the Intellectual Property Rights Utilization and Protection Hub (IP Hub), which spans 49 hectares and aims to become a demonstration zone for Sino-Singaporean cooperation in areas related to intellectual property.

In the next few years, more effort will be put into developing the IP Hub, which is endeavoring to bring in Singaporean and international experience, said city officials. Planners envisage that the IP Hub will attract and encourage research and technology based companies to be based in SSGKC, giving them access to resources and information regarding patents, copyrights and trademarks both in China and worldwide.

The Guangzhou Intellectual Property Court and the Patent Examination Cooperation Center of the State Intellectual Property Office, Guangdong Ofice, have commenced construction in SSGKC. The former is a new setup in China to focus on handling intellectual property litigation, and the latter is one of the largest centers outside SIPO's headquarters in Beijing.

Opposite the IP Hub is Fenghuang Lake, which was developed by the government. In addition to two successful lakeside residential developments, Horizon and Vanke, the Hong Kong-listed developer KWG has also started a commercial development at a plot adjacent to Ascendas Onehub GKC. The Central Resettlement Area has been completed and residents have already moved in.

The Guangzhou Greenland project, which is under construction near the lake, is another integrated community, where residents will be able to enjoy commercial developments, including high-end hotels, clubhouses and shopping malls. The development aims to create an integrated "live, work and play" environment.

By Zhuan Ti (China Daily)

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