US trade with China is currently under much scrutiny at the highest political levels. But Guangzhou’s vice-mayor, Cai Chaolin, stresses that the city has been open for business continuously for 2000 years, serving as a trading hub and gateway to China and the rest of Asia.
“This is our history and legacy, and we will continue to play this role,” he says. “Many multinationals entered the Chinese market through Guangzhou, and we continue to facilitate trade.”
To keep the momentum going, in 2016 the city announced a five-year plan to shift Guangzhou’s economic focus to advanced manufacturing and service industries. “We are further strengthening commerce and logistics where Guangzhou is already a leader,” says Mr Cai. “We are accelerating the development of finance, technology and tourism industries.”