22 October 12 17:23–180 kilometers from Shanghai, with a 350-km/h high-speed train, endless expressways, a mass of cheap labor, determination, and most of all, money, the leaders of the industrial city of Hangzhou are trying to tempt Israeli industrialists who dream of the Chinese market. Infrastructures and workspace are already in place to take in the know-how and innovation coming from abroad to fill the immense body with spirit and purpose, which will drive the production lines. For the Chinese, this is the ticket essential for moving from assembling American iPhones to becoming the place where the next technological big thing that will charm and fascinate the world will be invented.
When the criteria of success in public positions are numbers and amounts of money, it is no wonder that Hangzhou’s officials are prepared to go far to encourage foreign investment and attract Israeli technology. Even when a great recession is hovering around the corner, no one there is in a hurry to tighten belts en route to realizing the main objective – to turn Hangzhou, a city of 4.6 million residents, into China’s Silicon Valley.
Meanwhile, billions are being poured into the construction of manufacturing infrastructures, huge campuses for training engineers, state-of-the-art trains, and residential skyscrapers which reshape the city’s skyline every few weeks. Many of these buildings are still empty, but huge cranes are still located everywhere and construction is continuing, possibly because of the need to provide jobs for the masses, or because of the need to provide a solution in advance for the tens of millions of villagers migrating to the cities every year.
In 2011, for the first time in history, China’s urban population exceeded its rural population. Shanghai is expensive, and Hangzhou intends to offer a good, sane alternative.
“The Hangzhou government encourages the arrival of foreign companies, and offers far-reaching incentives to the companies that come to the city,” Hangzhou Deputy Mayor Feng Jiang told a group of Israeli correspondents, who came to ask questions and received longwinded declarations about the area’s advantages and its desire for innovation. “In recent years, thousands of foreign investments were made here amounting to $19 billion. Foreign trade amounts to $28 billion a year. We welcome and foster Israeli high-tech companies and innovation that will come to the city. They will not only find encouragement and incentives here, but also a unique operating model that is adapted for small and mid-sized Israeli companies.”…Read More>>