Experts have discussed the importance of cultivating Xiongan industrial development in order to draw in talent.
Rongcheng county in Hebei Province is home to more than 900 garment manufacturers which together employ more than 70,000 staff. In June 2015, the Beijing Institute of Fashion Technology began to develop internship programs with major companies in Rongcheng. In June 2017, the institute set up a “fashion industrial park” of some 314 square kilometers which provides for every element of garment design, including studio space, designers’ shops, a runway, digital service center and more. The main goal of the park was to provide high-level design and production support for the region’s garment industry.
“Xiongan will shoulder the responsibility for innovation and it will become the Silicon Valley of China,” Zhang Yansheng of the NDRC told the press in a recent interview. He said Beijing lacks the physical space to provide for the career development of intellectuals and talent from universities or science and research institutes. Xiongan will be vital for this purpose and it will stimulate the vitality of the wider region, he claimed.
“Without Stanford University, there would be no Silicon Valley in the US, because Stanford University provides science and technology talent for the latter, and creates a platform for innovation,” said Chen Yao of the Institute of Industrial Economics under the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences.
Yao cautioned that Xiongan and Beijing should be careful to focus on different kinds of innovation, however. Multiple sources told NewsChina that Beijing would position itself as the source of innovation for high-tech research and development, while the site of commercialization and implementation of such technology will be Xiongan.
“Indeed, many of China’s cities compete for resources, including the commercialization of science and technological achievements, by providing favorable policies to attract business. But compared with them, Xiongan enjoys a far more important strategic position, and is likely to attract young talent from across the nation,” said Chen Yao.
Since Xiongan was established, there has been intense interest in whether it can mimic the success of Shenzhen Special Economic Zone and Shanghai’s Pudong New Area.
Historically, both have aimed to develop and attract educational resources and technologies. According to Professor Li Guoping of the Beijing Development Institute at PKU, different histories and developmental stages make each new area and special zone unique.
“With China’s economic changes we have shifted into an innovation-driven mode of development. The development of Shenzhen took the efforts of the entire nation providing resources to build the market and upscale production, but Xiongan won’t operate in that mode,” Li said. “Xiongan will require more precise, targeted development. The goal for Xiongan is not to be large, but to be of high quality.”