Xiangjiang New Area of China’sHunan actively cultivates new quality productive forces

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Xi Jinping, general secretary of the Communist Party of China Central Committee, visited a joint venture in Changsha, central China’s Hunan province on March 18, where he learned about local endeavors to accelerate the development of new quality productive forces and promote high-standard opening up.

BASF Shanshan Battery Materials Co., Ltd. is located in the Xiangjiang New Area of Changsha. It was established by German chemical giant BASF and Shanshan, a leading Chinese lithium-ion battery materials supplier, in 2021. 

With a well-established research and development (R&D) system, a robust patent portfolio, as well as a low-carbon and sustainable supply chain, the company is dedicated to pioneering new chemical functionalities of positive electrode materials, in pursuit of a sustainable future.

BASF Shanshan Battery Materials Co., Ltd. is a miniature of the Xiangjiang New Area’s efforts to cultivate new quality productive forces and expand new growth momentum and advantages.

According to statistics, the Xiangjiang New Area’s R&D spending intensity, or the expenditure on R&D as a percentage of its GDP, for the first time exceeded five percent last year, ranking third among all new areas at the national level. 

In 2023, 27 specialized and sophisticated small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) that produce novel and unique products, and 500 high-tech firms were newly established in the Xiangjiang New Area, ranking second and third among all state-level new areas, respectively. The area is home to 64 state-level innovation platforms, accounting for over 40 percent of the total in Hunan province.

An industrial park of Zoomlion, a Chinese construction machinery and equipment manufacturer, in the Xiangjiang New Area, houses a number of heavyweight machines, including the all-terrain crane with the world’s largest tonnage, as well as the world’s tallest curved-arm aerial work platform. These innovative achievements highlight the strength of the Xiangjiang New Area in the field of intelligent manufacturing.

To the west of Tongzipo Road, there is a thoroughfare connecting dozens of listed companies engaged in engineering machinery, new energy, new materials, and biomedicine, and a huge number of SMEs as well.

Focusing on 15 industrial chains, the Xiangjiang New Area is determined to build itself into a nationally important high ground for advanced manufacturing and a hub of high-end industries. 

HS Photonics is one of the star enterprises in the Xiangjiang New Area. It has independently developed the first generation of quantum dot laser in the domestic industry, and co-developed the world’s first sample of silicon optical module by quantum dot laser with a leading Chinese optical chip manufacturer.

The Xiangjiang New Area has made technological innovation an inherent part of its development, continuously unleashing new growth drivers.

Since 2023, the National Supercomputing Center in Changsha has been approved to build a state-level open innovation platform for a new generation of AI public computing power, with internationally advanced and nationally leading computing capabilities. A 200-petaflop AI innovation center has been established. 

Besides, the Xiangjiang New Area is orderly promoting its scientific innovation programs, including four major science labs and ten landmark projects. 

The Xiangjiang New Area, occupying only 0.5 percent of Hunan province’s land area, generates eight percent of the province’s GDP. The new area’s total economic output grew from 160 billion yuan ($22.22 billion) in 2015 to 450 billion yuan in 2023.

With innovation as its driving force and technology as an enabler, the Xiangjiang New Area is unleashing new vitality in its high-quality development.



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