Foreign-funded research and development (R&D) institutions have become a strong force in Beijing's technology trade market, making up 13.9 percent of the capital's technology trade volume last year.
Sources from the Beijing Science and Technology Committee revealed, last year, the volume of technology application contracts for 55 projects developed by foreign-funded R&D institutions amounted to 2.659 billion yuan (US$320.36 million), doubling that of the previous year, 1.262 billion yuan (US$152.04 million), which involved seven projects.
The total technology trade volume in Beijing reached 19.1 billion yuan (US$2.3 billion) last year, 36 percent higher than that of 2000.
Trading focused on high-tech industries, including information technology, biological pharmaceuticals, optical-machinery-electronics integration, new materials, new energies and environmental protection.
Analysts attributed the achievements to Beijing's sound investing climate, and its rich talent and technology resources.
Lin Geng, director of the Beijing Technology Trade Market, added that the central and local governments' preferential policies on technology trade - concerning tax cutting on technology revenue, streamlined registration procedures and intellectual property rights protection - also attracted more foreign enterprises and institutions to carry out R&D projects in the capital.
"Beijing's technology trade market keeps prospering, with the average annual growth rate standing at 20 percent from 1996 to 2001," Lin said.
Compared with Beijing, Shanghai - China's traditional commercial hub and manufacturing centre - declared it leads the race in "roping in" foreign R&D centres.
According to a report from the Shanghai municipal government issued last month, 42 foreign leading companies have set up their global or regional R&D centres in the city because of Shanghai's first-class infrastructure, and a superior geographic and economic environment.
Insiders say competition in the R&D sectors between Beijing and Shanghai reflects the two municipalities' strong technology forces and foreigners' confidence in their investment climates.
(China Daily January 17, 2002)