When Singaporean Jonathan Tey arrived at the Sino-Singapore Guangzhou Knowledge City (SSGKC) in 2013, the project was just in its opening phase. The area was still practically wasteland, with a few villages and agriculture in the hills, and an industrial economy that was relatively backward.
Over the past six years of development, Tey has seen the SSGKC spring to life. In his opinion, "a world-class, international industrial new city has just begun to take shape".Today's SSGKC is not only full of Lingnan architecture, but also features many Singaporean elements such as the 'Rain Corridor' and the mini 'Solar Super Tree'.
Jonathan Tey in the interview. [Photo by Li Jiangrui]
Jonathan serves as the chief of Head of human resources and administration dept for the China-Singapore Knowledge City Investment and Development Co., Ltd. and is mainly responsible for recruiting and retaining talent within the scope of the joint venture company. To attract and retain talent, policy and supporting environment are the key factors.
Huangpu District, where the SSGKC is located, is a perfect example, being the first to issue the "Meiyu 10" talent policy. For new or newly trained outstanding talent the maximum potential grant is a staggering $5 million. A residence permit of up to five years will also be granted to recognised high-level overseas talent.
As Jonathan sees it, the SSGKC from the basic food, clothing, travel, to innovation development platforms, has spared no effort to create an environment suitably matched to the high-end industry and talent it seeks to attract. Assistance with a apartments, children's education supporting, transportation, personnel training systems, production, education and research platforms are all crucial.
Thanks to the highly developed mobile payment and e-commerce economy, living in Guangdong is very convenient. Jonathan shared how now he only needs to take his smartphone when he leaves the house, he went on to admit, "Having lived in Guangdong for a long time, it’s hard to adapt back to life in Singapore."
Jonathan also expressed his view that "Guangdong's innovative spirit and strong economic base are very attractive. Of course, it also has its own local culture, which makes many high-end talent feel better integrated," he added.
SSGKC is presently working on their Master Development Plan for 2019-2035, and are aiming for over half a million creative individuals to relocate in the region.
‘The Pearl of the GBA’
The overall plan of the SSGKC. [Photo provided to newsgd.com]
The Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao-Greater Bay Area is one of the most open and economically active regions in China, and has an important strategic position in the overall development of the country.
To promote the development of the GBA, the SSGKC will be one of the major carriers of innovation. The SSGKC, which is being positioned as the "Pearl at the tip of the bay", is currently speeding up infrastructure construction. From the SSGKC it now takes only ten minutes to reach Guangzhou’s Baiyun Airport, a major international aviation hub.
According to Tey, China is now undergoing a rapid stage of development, unlike Singapore, where the pace of development has levelled off. In China there are opportunities and challenges everywhere, especially evident in the booming development of new and high-tech industries. It is this which has attracted and will continue to attract many foreigners, including Singaporeans, to China to start up innovative businesses. SSGKC is a platform to display their talent.
As a key component of the Technology Innovation Corridor, the SSGKC provides a strategic fulcrum for Singaporean enterprises to enter the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao-Bay Area. He believes that in the near future, the SSGKC will be known as a "World Knowledge City", a prototype for a modern and new type of city that is set up perfectly for life and work.
Reported by Simon, Will
Edited by Wing Zhang
Video by Li Jiangrui