Specialized robots are seen at a production workshop at the Tangshan Hi-tech Industrial Development Zone in Tangshan, North China’s Hebei province, April 29, 2020. [Photo/Xinhua]

BEIJING – China’s national high-tech zones have maintained growth despite the impact of the COVID-19 epidemic, a senior official said on Thursday.

In May, the revenue of high-tech zones reached 3.27 trillion yuan ($467 billion), up by 10.3 percent year-on-year, and the export volume reached 319 billion yuan, up by 13.7 percent year-on-year, said Xu Nanping, vice- minister of science and technology, at a press conference.

With strong scientific and technological innovation capacity, the high-tech zones have shown resilience to risks and registered a higher growth than the national average, Xu said.

In the first quarter of this year, the high-tech zones employed more than 26.56 million people, up by 2.1 percent year-on-year. A total of 508,000 new jobs were created in high-tech zones during that period, up by 6.7 percent year-on-year.

China’s national high-tech zones play a vital role in underpinning innovation-driven development and establishing valuable experience for China’s high-quality economic development, Xu added.

China unveiled a guideline on the quality development of national high-tech zones in July, stressing efforts in spurring innovation, deepening reform, and expanding opening-up in this sector.

Xu said after more than 30 years’ development, national high-tech zones have become an important support for the country’s economy.

In 2019, China’s 169 national high-tech zones created 12.2 trillion yuan in output and paid 1.9 trillion yuan in taxes and fees, accounting for 12.3 percent of China’s GDP and 11.8 percent of the country’s tax revenue.

The R&D expenditure of enterprises in the national high-tech zones totaled 825.9 billion yuan, accounting for half the R&D expenditure of enterprises in the country in 2019. The number of invention patents authorized in national high-tech zones accounted for 37.5 percent of the country’s total.

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By the end of 2019, national high-tech zones housed 81,000 high-tech enterprises, accounting for 35.9 percent of the country’s total.

China’s high-tech zones have nurtured innovative companies with international influence, and developed a number of world-class industrial clusters in the fields of photovoltaic electricity, wind power and new energy vehicles, Xu said.

Via China Daily