The GDP of Changsha, capital of Hunan Province, surpassed 747.8 billion yuan (US3.3 billion) at a growth rate of more than 11 percent in the first three quarters of 2017. Its GDP is on track to break the 1 trillion yuan mark for the first time by the end of 2017, becoming the second city in central China and the forth in central and western China to join the ranks of the "trillion-yuan club."
The GDP of Changsha increased by 460 percent in the past 10 years, bringing its ranking in GDP from 24th to 14th. The surging growth rate could be attributed to its modernized manufacturing capabilities, its focus on technology innovation development, and government policy support.
Changsha has started to upgrade its traditional industries and equip them with smart manufacturing capabilities since 2015. Its manufacturing sector was introduced to automatic production lines, industrial robots, database construction, and pilot enterprises in these new capabilities.
Since then, a total of 330 local companies have been named city-level, province-level, and state-level pilot enterprises for smart manufacturing. More than 20 companies have been certified as state-level pilot enterprises.
From January to October this year, the added value from industries above the designated scale in Changsha increased by 8 percent year-on-year. Both of these companies' added value and growth rate took the lead ahead of other provincial capital cities including Nanjing, Hangzhou and Zhengzhou, all of which have similar GDPs.
Innovation has become the impetus for the economic development of Changsha.
Emerging industries have given the city a much needed boost. They include industries such as new materials, mobile internet, e-commerce, auto manufacturing, big data, 3D printing, Beidou Navigation Satellite System, biological medicine, aviation and space industry, and artificial intelligence.
The mobile internet industry is growing rapidly in Changsha. There are more than 20,000 mobile internet companies in Changsha, with a total of 150,000 employees and a sales revenue of more than 75 billion yuan (US.36 billion). The annual growth rate of the city's mobile internet industry is over 40 percent.
Last year, the number of certified invention patents reached 16,885 in Changsha, accounting for 60.6 percent of the provincial certified innovation patents.
The local authorities have supported Changsha's industries with new human resource and investment policies this year.
To facilitate scientific innovation, the municipal government increased the fiscal support to science and research this August. By 2020, the fiscal investment in science and technology will reach 5 billion yuan (US7 million).
Meanwhile, the local authorities also unveiled a new human resources policy to attract more graduates. By the end of November, the local authorities had received 77,300 consultations about the new human resources policy after 100 days of its implementation. More than 21,800 graduates have received local residency and 13,600 graduates have received house subsidies from the local authorities.