From 7 to 14 December 2019, 19 Business China Youth Chapter (BCYC) members embarked on an 8-day learning journey to the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area (GBA) where they explored the cities of Shenzhen, Guangzhou, and Foshan. Accompanied by the winning team from the Business China Youth Showdown 2019, they visited a diverse set of companies ranging from traditional industries such as manufacturing and real estate to new emerging economies such as artificial intelligence (AI).
Supported by Business China, the BCYC Winter Learning Journey 2019 led a delegation of youth to the GBA. Participants had the privilege of learning the business models, best practices of these corporations and gaining valuable insights on how Singapore may tap on the region’s exceptional growth to enhance bilateral partnerships and cooperation.
The BCYC delegation comprises of students and young professionals from a diverse range of background, among them scholars, budding entrepreneurs, and forward-looking youths with a strong interest in China’s development.
SHENZHEN – Cradle of Chinese economic reforms
The learning journey kickstarted by visiting Shenzhen Museum’s flagship gallery, where delegates gained a comprehensive background understanding of the historical, geographical, and social aspects of the city and GBA
The BCYC delegation later visited the Tsinghua Shenzhen International Graduate School (SIGS), and exchanged insights on future developments in the GBA.
Often dubbed as “China’s Silicon Valley”, Shenzhen houses some of China’s most promising technology firms. From enterprising start-ups such as Intellifusion to established tech giants like Tencent, the city proves to be tech companies’ ideal base for its large talent pool, advanced telecommunications infrastructure, and preferential government policies.
At Intellifusion, the delegation was received by Overseas Sales Director, Mr Zhang Peng. Intellifusion launched the world's first non-cooperative facial recognition system in the public security industry. Mr Zhang shared that Intellifusion places great emphasis on the real-life application of its products. With its advanced facial recognition and big data technology, Intellifusion assists the city’s officers in tracking down criminals, identifying crime-prone districts, and locating missing persons.
During the visit to Tencent, BCYC delegates experienced first-hand Tencent’s unique innovations that provide a more immersive and interactive gaming environment. These include China’s most popular messaging app, Weixin, and the world’s highest-grossing game of all time, Wangzhe Rongyao.
The delegation caught up with fellow Singaporeans based in Shenzhen and was received by Mr Lim Chin Loon, Chairman of the Singapore Chamber of Commerce and Industry (Singcham) Guangdong Chapter. Mr Lim applauded the pioneering spirit of our delegation’s aspiring entrepreneurs and encouraged them to seize opportunities in China and beyond. They also interacted with Singaporean students in Shenzhen from the National University of Singapore’s Overseas College Programme, and discussed various topics pertaining to student life, the opportunities and challenges faced while studying and working in the city.
BCYC delegates visited the China (Guangdong) Pilot FTZ, Qianhai & Shekou Area of Shenzhen, and gained exclusive insights into the area’s plans to build a global trade hub with integrated logistics and shipping facilities, establish an internationally-linked financial demonstration zone, and develop the district into Asia-Pacific’s centre for manufacture-related service industries. Additionally, the area’s proximity to Hong Kong makes it an ideal platform for cooperation between the two cities. Through the visit to the Qianhai Shenzhen-Hong Kong Youth Innovation and Entrepreneur Hub, the delegation learnt about the achievements made by young entrepreneurs in the fields of material sciences, biotechnology, and education.
FOSHAN – Integrating traditional industries with technology
The delegation also visited Country Garden in Foshan, one of China’s largest property development companies. Overseas Branding Director, Ms Emily Situ, shared Country Garden’s commitment to continuous industrial upgrading, and how traditional industries may harness new technology to enhance productivity. The company has successfully implemented automation on its construction sites, with robots undertaking labour-intensive and repetitive tasks such as tiling and painting.
GUANGZHOU – Model of Sino-Singapore cooperation
Guangzhou is a familiar name to many Singaporeans due to the high-level collaboration between the two nations on the China-Singapore Guangzhou Knowledge City (CSGKC). Both governments are dedicated to the establishment of a vibrant IP value chain in the CSGKC and strive to deepen collaboration on IP rights. Mr Ang Boon Peng, CSGKC’s Vice President of Strategic Collaboration, shared his decade-long experience of working in China and encouraged Singaporean youths to look beyond our shores to gain a more thorough and complete understanding of foreign cultures and business practices.
The delegation also interacted with students and staff from Sun Yat-sen University. Both parties exchanged in-depth views on how youths may contribute to the development of the GBA, and areas in which Guangzhou and Singapore can learn from each other, namely education, healthcare, and entrepreneurship.
With its prime geographical location, diverse pool of international talent, and pro-business policies, the GBA is abound with opportunities waiting to be explored by the brave and enterprising. The delegation found the learning journey to be immensely rewarding and will benefit them in their respective fields of study and work.
About Business China Youth Chapter
Business China Youth Chapter (BCYC) is a voluntary group of youths that envisions to be the leading Singapore-based community that inspires youths to be China-savvy and facilitate their connections with China. Supported by Business China, BCYC has a vibrant calendar of activities which serve the needs of the BCYC community.
To join Business China Youth Chapter, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
This article is contributed by Business China Youth Chapter member Zhai Zihan.
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