As a neighboring island to Macao, the Hengqin New Area of Zhuhai city was set up to diversify Macao's economy.
Over the past nine years, the local government has taken measures to attract people from Macao to start businesses in the area.
Chen Tianlan and his company aim to produce a portable device that can diagnose clinical and agricultural diseases.
Originating from a scientific project at the University of Macao, the business plan took shape in Zhuhai's Hengqin Inno Valley, an industrial park designed specifically for entrepreneurship.
Chen says the reason for starting a business in Hengqin is because the industrial park is very close to Macao and to the university. Therefore, he can take full advantage of Macao's human resources. Besides, the rent for office is free for the first year.
Compared to doing scientific research, running a company is a brand new experience for Chen. The first-time entrepreneur is happy to see that the industrial park has been providing him and other entrepreneurs with training to improve their management capabilities.There is also assistance from the industrial park with patent applications, accounting, and legal support.
Adjacent to Macao, the new area was founded in 2009 with the aim of enhancing economic ties between the mainland, Macao and Hong Kong.
President Xi Jinping visited the island in October and stressed that the initial purpose of building up the new area is to set the stage for diversifying Macao's economy. The Inno Valley is part of the effort.
So far, there are over 2,600 enterprises from Hong Kong and Macao set up in Hengqin. The number is still increasing, especially after the area carried out a public service reform in 2012. That has made it a lot easier to start a business in the region.
Zhong Ruishan, deputy section chief of Hengqin Administration of Industry and Commerce, says the reform was all about simplifying formalities.
For example, to get a business license, people had to go through at least five government departments and hand in different papers in the past. Now, people only need to visit the administration of industry and commerce and hand in one application form and a few papers for everything. The entire procedure used to take about one month. Now, it takes four days at most.
According to local authorities, there were only 726 companies in Hengqin in 2012. Now the number has reached over 60,000 companies from both home and abroad.
Li Weihui, deputy secretary of CPC (Communist Party of China) Hengqin New Area Committee, says that major infrastructure constructions in the area will complete soon. What the local government needs to do now is set up supporting facilities, such as shuttle bus services between Macao and Hengqin, sports and education facilities. Hengqin needs to offer people from Macao a great working and living environment.
Chen Tianlan's company's signature product is now in the test phase. The next step is to raise funds for building a production line once the technology is ready for the market.
He is grateful for all the assistance from the industrial park and the new area and remains confident that his company will surely expand its scale in the near future.