Development of an innovation-driven economy will play a major role in helping accelerate the industrial transformation of Guangdong province, a traditional industrial base in South China, said Ma Xingrui, the provincial governor.
"We have to focus on enhancing technological innovation capabilities, planning to develop emerging industries, promoting the integration of supply and finance chains and creating a world-renowned business environment," said Ma.
Ma made the remarks during the International Consultative Conference on the Future Economic Development of Guangdong, convened in Guangzhou, the provincial capital of Guangdong, on Thursday.
"We welcome new concepts and ideas from our global advisors and will combine their suggestions with instructions from the central government to promote industrial transformation," Ma said.
In the 2015 conference, 35 constructive and feasible suggestions were proposed by advisors, according to Ma.
Ma, together with 12 advisors from globally renowned companies, shared their successful experiences enhancing cooperation between the companies and Guangdong. The conference, founded in 1999, currently focuses on aggregating high-end elements and promoting integrated development of industry, finance and technology.
Carmine Di Sibio, global managing of partner-client service of Ernst &Young, said Guangdong needs to aspire to build a living environment with world-class quality for its citizens and investors if the province is to make continuous progress in innovation.
"That includes everything from infrastructure, air quality and everything else that attracts people to the province," Di Sibio said. "As you know, people want to stay in Silicon Valley in the United States because they love the quality of life there."
Ernst & Young has two offices in Guangdong - one in Guangzhou and the other in Shenzhen, China's own Silicon Valley.
According to Di Sibio, Guangdong needs to invest more in technology, shifting to more high-end industries including artificial intelligence, robotics and the "internet of things".
"These are the new technologies that Guangdong needs to embrace to improve its economy to the next level," Di Sibio said.