China’s economy has resilience and is running on a sound and smooth track, Premier Li Keqiang said, adding that innovation and entrepreneurship serve as “important pillars” for the Chinese economy to withstand downward pressure and maintain growth momentum over the long run.

Premier lauds innovation at exhibition

Li made the remarks at the opening ceremony for the 2019 National Mass Innovation and Entrepreneurship Week in Hangzhou, Zhejiang province.

He also called for governments at all levels to create a good environment to enable entrepreneurs to start and operate their businesses in a fair market, thus realizing market prosperity and high-quality economic development.

Various events were held in Hangzhou-the main venue for the innovation week this year-and cities such as Beijing and Shenzhen in Guangdong province.

Wang Lei, an e-commerce operation director of ForwardX Robotics company in Beijing, said that innovation week provided a precious opportunity for the company to showcase its latest research achievement to the public.

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With an aim of launching their new self-moving suitcases in August, Wang said the innovation week made more people aware of their techniques and will help them promote their products soon.

“It’s imperative for traditional entrepreneurs like us to transform in an innovative manner,” said Zong Qinghou, chairman and CEO of Hangzhou Wahaha Group, in Hangzhou.

“Zhejiang has always been a hub for innovation and startups,” he added. “I believe the mass innovation week will play a pivotal role in driving up the province’s high-quality economic development in the high-tech sector.”

The Ministry of Education on Thursday also announced in Hangzhou the launch of the fifth China College Students’ Internet Plus Innovation and Entrepreneurship Competition, the biggest gathering for innovation projects among universities and colleges in China.

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As of June 10, the event had received 772,000 startup projects, with 3.32 million participants nationwide, according to Wu Yan, director of the Department of Higher Education with the ministry.

One distinctive feature for the competition this year is that university and college participants from 100 nations and regions worldwide will be invited to make the student startup event an international one with global influence in a bid to raise its profile on the international stage, he said.

In Shenzhen, a commemorative event was launched at Huaqiang North Street, one of China’s best-known electronics hubs.

Garrett Winther, partner at Huaqiang North-headquartered HAX, one of the world’s largest and most well-known accelerator programs for hardware startups, said: “Shenzhen’s ecosystem of electronics manufacturers, component suppliers, professional logistics services and skilled talent allows startups to build a smart hardware product cost-effectively and faster. “

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