The city's animators have come a long way, but they must continue to innovate and upgrade to compete with overseas players, said a culture ministry official.
"After years of development, animation and cartoon technology has improved greatly. But we still have a lot to do to promote the animation industry, especially in the areas of research and development and innovation," said Zhang Xinjian, deputy director of the Ministry of Culture's marketing bureau, at the opening of the 2007 China (Changzhou) International Animation Art Festival on Thursday.
Innovation and improved technology has propelled the animation industry in recent years, said Ju Liqin, vice-mayor of Changzhou, at the festival.
The week-long event features exhibitions, forums and a design contest.
"These activities are conducive to the development of the industry in the city and cooperation between Chinese and overseas producers," Ju said.
Changzhou began developing its fledgling animation industry in 2000. The city government introduced measures to support the industry and encourage its growth.
The race is now on for China's animation companies to boost research and development and improve the quality of programs so that they can compete in the world market. Side industries are also developing, including merchandise and cartoon theme parks like the one built by Changzhou (China) Dinosaur Park and Greatdreams Co in Hunan Province.
More than 200 local and foreign animation production firms will take part in the festival. So far, 31 deals have been signed worth 520 million yuan.
(China Daily September 29, 2007)