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Participants attend the opening ceremony of the 2015 Macao International Environmental Cooperation Forum and Exhibition. An annual event with an aim to nurture environmental business, technology and information exchanges between the Pan-Pearl River Delta region in South China and international markets will open at the end of this month.
The 2016 Macao International Environmental Cooperation Forum and Exhibition, also known as MIECF, will be held at the Venetian Macao-Resort-Hotel from March 31 to April 2.
This year, two major annual components, the Green Forum and the Green Showcase, as well as activities such as the Green Business Cooperation Day, networking activities, public day, business matching, seminars and presentations will be staged.
All aim to strengthen commercial and technological exchanges on advances in environmental protection between international and Pan-Pearl River Delta region entities, to promote cooperation and developments in international environmental protection, to publicize environmental protection concepts and to create business opportunities in the environmental industry. During the Green Forum, Walter Stahel, a pioneer in circular economy and inventor of the "Cradle to Cradle" and "Performance Economy" concepts, as well as founder and director of the Product-Life Institute, will deliver a keynote speech.
The annual event is hosted by the government of the Macao Special Administrative Region, with the Environmental Protection Bureau and the Macao Trade and Investment Promotion Institute as host coordinators. MIECF has earned increasing popularity among industry professionals and was recognized by the UFI, or the Global Association of the Exhibition Industry, as a "UFI Approved Event" since 2011, for innovative opportunities in the environmental industry and for publicizing environmental concepts. The event enjoys the support of the National Development and Reform Commission, Ministry of Science and Technology and Ministry of Environmental Protection as special supporting organizations. It is also co-organized by the provincial and regional governments of the Pan-Pearl River Delta, namely Fujian, Jiangxi, Hunan, Guangdong, Guangxi, Hainan, Sichuan, Guizhou, Yunnan and Hong Kong. As I write this, I am preparing to commit the foulest of deeds, one I have plotted for nearly two days.
The thing that brings us two together - and pits us against one another - is our membership of a group that does physical exercises and keeps a monthly ranking of who is doing best on a smart phone app. It ranks us all by the number of minutes we do exercises, handing out the appropriate accolades at the end of the month.
The app, called Keep, allows everyone to keep an eye on what exercises everyone else has done, what time they did them and, if an exerciser chooses to allow it, where the exercise was done.
But this app is doing much more than giving me an insight into my physical condition; it has also given me acute insight into how I think.
Until a few weeks ago I could not even do a plank, but now I can do at least three in quick succession, holding myself in place each time for 30 seconds, almost effortlessly. One evening, when I was in second spot and realized the person in third spot was closing in on me, I trained for an hour trying to build muscles on my belly, arms, back, legs and hips.
The app includes about 100 kinds of training, and choosing the right ones plays a key role in getting ahead, because ranking is determined by how much time you train rather than on the difficulty of the exercise you do. So I have exercised a bit of brain muscle - and it does not take much - to work out that the exercises on which you burn the least calories are the one that take the least effort and which you can do the longest. Of course, my rivals have cottoned on to this, too, and one morning I realized that someone I had overtaken the night before had dragged himself out of bed and did some abs training and then some leg stretching for a total of 11 minutes, which burned up just 12 calories. I have also found with this caper that it brings out the traits of leadership - call it pushiness if you like - in some people.
When I told her it was a rest day in my training schedule - I lied - she told me to take a picture of the schedule to prove it. After turning a deaf ear to his, and continuing to sleep for an hour, I finally crawled out of bed and did the exercises. But all this pushing, pulling and being shoved around by others seems to be working, because after a month I am more confident about my body.
The lady in first spot has now become a first-class navel gazer, taking pictures of her gorgeous belly and posting them on WeChat. He knows full well who would come out on top in that particular game, so of course I am going to keep my pictures of my flab to myself.
While meditating is usually associated with a sitting practice often guided by the breath, mindfulness extends that practice into everyday life and focuses on cultivating awareness in the present. Experts say mindfulness offers a rest for the brain, increased productivity and the ability to turn off the unfulfilling autopilot of the daily grind and instead live in the present moment. Experts stress the importance of starting with a teacher or one of the numerous apps or online videos. At Unplug Meditation in Los Angeles, students can choose classes to unblock chakras, cultivate intuition or a breathing class set to modern music for $22.
Emily Fletcher is the host of a new podcast for Gaiam's recently launched-app, which offers nearly two dozen teachers from different lineages for $2.99. If you look at the list of the country's designated free trade zones, Foshan is not on the list.
However, the city in South China's Guangdong province, which is best known for its home decoration and electric appliance industries, promises to offer all the perks of a free trade zone, according to local officials. Foshan is a close neighbor of Guangzhou, the capital of Guangdong province, and the two cities have started to integrate with each other in the last few years, to take advantage of their synergies and better distribute resources. Seizing the opportunity of the two cities' integration, Foshan is also incorporating the favorable policies of the Guangdong Pilot Free Trade Zone, part of which is located in Guangzhou, which was approved by the central government in April 2015. The city has thus vowed to facilitate investment, trade and customs clearance, as well as carry out financial reform and innovation, the same as other free trade zones.
Since its plan to emulate other free trade zones was launched late last year, the city has already implemented several measures, and procedures have been simplified for enterprises looking to do business in the city.
According to the local government, the time for a project to get approval has shortened from more than 200 working days to 48 days on average.
While the number of times applicants have to go to various government departments for approval has been reduced from 28 to two. For customs clearance, Foshan has launched "Internet Plus" technologies to greatly simplify procedures. When it comes to financial innovations, Foshan is working to facilitate cross-border investment and leases, as well as two-way cross-border exchanges of renminbi funds. The city is a manufacturing hub in South China, whose overall industrial output amounted to 2 trillion yuan ($305 billion) in 2015. Even with such profitable industries, the city is constantly designing new ways to diversify. One of these has come with the newly opened high-speed railway that connects Guangdong province, the Guangxi Zhuang autonomous region and Guizhou province.
The pilot zone, designed for further integration of the Pearl River Delta region and to answer the needs of the Belt and Road Initiative, will be a testing ground for innovative policies and new ways of social governance.
It is set to connect the areas from Southwest China to South China with not only high-speed trains but also a more extensive and efficient network of water, air and land transportation.
Plans for complementary development among the three regions are expected to come into effect soon. A newly bonded region is also expected to bring industries from developed areas such as Foshan to the less-developed inland areas, and create a continuous route for travelers to savor a shifting landscape from coasts to forests and deep mountains within a day. Customs clearance has been greatly simplified thanks to the coupled benefits brought by the Internet and reduced procedures. Various industry platforms that will enable participating entities to have up-to-date, transparent information on relevant services from logistics to financing are being set up. E-commerce, which thrives not only in the country but also across borders, will further prosper as the city continues to encourage integration and development of industry chains by providing financing services, logistics, storage and other services. Human resources is one of the reasons why Foshan is emerging as an up-and-coming center for environmental protection, new energy, new materials, biopharmaceuticals and other sunrise industries.
Moreover, a national-level high-tech industrial development zone, a Sino-German industrial service zone and a financial services zone are all progressing swiftly. The Financial Times' investment promotion publication, fDi magazine, ranked Foshan first on the Chinese mainland in terms of its foreign direct investment strategy and one of Asia's most coveted destinations for FDI last year. Lu Yi (center), Party chief of Foshan, gets together with delegates from Chinese and German cities during an Internet Plus expo in September 2015 for establishing a Sino-German industrial cities alliance.
Foshan, the city adjacent to Guangzhou, capital of Guangdong province, is home to the lion's share of both China's home decoration and electrical appliance industries.
Whether it is furniture, building materials, household appliances, lighting, home textiles, or plastic products, Foshan produces it. The city is developing business-to-business and online-to-offline platforms to directly connect suppliers and buyers. For suppliers, the initiatives mean less excess production and smaller inventories, as information will flow more smoothly and transparently. The initiatives have already been implemented in the city's ceramic tile industry, with a new platform integrating financing, big data, logistics, and e-commerce, as well as other Internet Plus services, launched on March 1. Participating companies are expecting the platform to generate 100 billion yuan in revenue this year, according to the Foshan Bureau of Commerce. Representatives of Foshan's ceramic enterprises meet to forge an integrated industrial platform. Foreign Minister Wang Yi said on Wednesday that he hopes diplomatic envoys and companies from various countries will communicate and cooperate more with the Ningxia Hui autonomous region, an important stop on the Belt and Road Initiative. Wang made the remarks at an event held by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to attract business and investment to Ningxia.
Foreign Minister Wang Yi (right) samples local food from the Ningxia Hui autonomous region at an event on Wednesday at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, which was attended by diplomats from more than 100 countries.
The event, "An Open China: From Ningxia to the World", gathered a number of participants, including foreign envoys, and was the first of a series of events the ministry planned to present Chinese provinces, municipalities and autonomous regions to the international community.
Wang said Ningxia, a "highly distinctive" provincial-level administrative region, has become "a new name card" for China's opening up, as the Belt and Road Initiative is being pushed forward on a comprehensive scale. Located in the hinterland of Northwest China, with the Yellow River running across it and abundant sunshine, Ningxia boasts fertile plains that are perfect for agriculture. According to Liu Hui, chairman of the Ningxia Hui autonomous region, typical produce includes wolfberry, liquorice, halal beef and lamb and quality wine. The eastern foot of Helan Mountains in Ningxia has 184 vineyards and an annual wine production of 95,000 tons, Liu said.
Since 2010, the autonomous region, home to different ethnic groups, including Hui and Han, has hosted the China-Arab States Economic and Trade Forum three times and the China- Arab States Expo twice. Addressing the headquarters of the Arab League in Cairo in January, President Xi Jinping said that the second China-Arab States Expo held in 2015 witnessed the signing of cooperation projects worth 183 billion yuan ($27.93 billion), and became an important platform for China and Arab countries to work together to build the Silk Road Economic Belt and the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road.
Liu, the chairman, invited companies and individuals to invest in Ningxia in various sectors, including chemicals, agricultural processing and information technology. Li Jianhua, Party chief of the Ningxia Hui autonomous region, said: "We welcome companies from around the world to invest in Ningxia. John Mckinnon, New Zealand Ambassador to China, who attended the presentation, said he is interested in Ningxia's wine industry as well as animal husbandry and agriculture. He said that Marlborough, a wine growing region in his country, has "started to have some links with Ningxia". Brahim Boudani, economic counselor of the Moroccan embassy in China, said he was interested in the event because it strengthened relations between Morocco and China as well as ties between China and the Arab world.
He said there is potential for Ningxia to cooperate with Morocco in areas the country focuses on, including the automotive industry, electronics, textile and agriculture. They said the exposition is an important platform for Ningxia in Northwest China to promote communication and cooperation with Arabic countries and regions. More than 10,000 delegates from home and abroad participated in the China-Arab States Expo 2015 in Yinchuan, the capital of Ningxia, in September. The wine industry is an economic pillar in Ningxia as it is one of the best grape-growing areas in China.
Several cooperation organizations, including the China-Arab States Technology Transfer Center, were set up in Ningxia during the 2015 expo.
The State Council approved in September 2012 that an inland opening-up pilot economic zone, which involves the whole autonomous region, would be established in Ningxia. Ningxia also guided local companies to invest overseas in recent years and local companies have set up 95 businesses in 28 countries and regions. Local officials said Ningxia would promote the construction of an industrial park in Saudi Arabia to help Chinese steel, cement, glass, halal food processing and equipment companies expand abroad. A route connecting Dubai to Zhengzhou, the capital of Central China's Henan province, via Yinchuan, will open on May 3.
The region also promoted trade cooperation with foreign countries and regions via the Internet. The Online Silk Road Forum at the China-Arab States Expo 2015 showcased the Internet-based trade achievements between China and Arabic countries and further promoted cooperation on aspects such as cross-border e-commerce and cloud computing.
Last year, Ningxia issued a document on integrating into the Belt and Road Initiative and further developing the region's economy. Located in the junction where the Tengger Desert meets the Yellow River, Shapotou is reputed to be one of the most wonderful places in China. Ningxia is one of the cradles of the Chinese civilization and its cultural elements include the Yellow River, the Great Wall, the ancient Silk Road and the Western Xia Dynasty (1038-1227).
The Western Xia Imperial Tombs and China Western Film Studios, representing the past and present of Ningxia's culture, are must-visit sites for tourists. The Islamic culture also attracts tourists to Ningxia, where Muslims account for more than 30 percent of the total population.
Xu Xiaoping, chief of the bureau, said Ningxia would develop Muslim tourism services and build itself into a tourist destination for visitors from Arabic countries and Muslim regions. Li Shihong, deputy chief of the China National Tourism Administration, said at the conference that the administration values the development of the domestic Muslim tourism market and would support Ningxia to take measures in aspects such as reducing language barriers to boost the market. Ningxia had opened international air routes connecting Yinchuan to regions including Seoul, Bangkok, Osaka, Singapore and Dubai by the end of last year. It will host a high-level tourism dialogue event between China and the United States in September. An international driving tour organized by the Ningxia government and some other organizations will begin in September.
Over the five years of the 12th Five-Year Plan period, the city recorded outstanding results in innovation, development of its marine economy, financial service reform, infrastructure construction, improved livelihoods and opening-up. Zhang said the city had a total of 908 city-level or above key laboratories, company-owned technological centers and engineering technology research centers by the end of 2015, while the number of technology-driven companies jumped from 289 in 2011 to 964 in 2015.
In all, 17 R&D bases developed by State-owned companies and research institutions such as the Chinese Academy of Sciences are in operation. Development of its marine economy has been a key focus for Qingdao over the last five years. The city mapped out three key marine economy zones: the Blue Silicon Valley, the West Coast New Economic Zone and the Hongdao Economic Zone.
The Blue Silicon Valley is a world-class research and development base for marine science and technology. The West Coast New Economic Zone, a national-level zone, features several industrial parks in different fields. Qingdao obtained approval from the State Council to establish the Qingdao Wealth Management Financial Comprehensive Reform Pilot Area, the country's only wealth management financial zone in February 2014. The move allows the city to establish a diversified portfolio of wealth management institutions and a multifunctional wealth management market. By the end of 2015, 57 companies were listed on the National Equities Exchange and Quotations, the so-called New Third Board, and 318 companies were listed on the Qingdao Blue Ocean Equity Exchange, a locally operated equity exchange market.
Qingdao is striving to be a hub city connecting the Silk Road Economic Belt and 21st Century Maritime Silk Road.

Infrastructure construction made some key breakthroughs between 2011 and 2015, as projects such as Jiaozhou Bay Undersea Tunnel and Jiaozhou Bay Bridge were put into operation. The city also introduced a variety of different measures to improve the livelihoods of local residents over the past five years, and the total expenditure on residents' livelihoods was 331.5 billion yuan, including the upgrading and building of 969 kindergartens and 729 primary and secondary schools. Qingdao plans to develop the city into a regional hub for innovation, high-end services and marine economy to support local economic growth over the next five years.
The Qingdao government will also continue to invest in advanced marine science and try to make breakthroughs in core technology research to support the Belt and Road Initiative. Qingdao will also continue to increase the service sector's proportion of the economy to support its economic restructuring over the next five years. Thanks to its rich cultural heritage, local residents and visitors were able to celebrate the Chinese New Year with temple fairs, lion and dragon dancing, lantern displays, ocean worship and martial arts performances in the coastal city in East China's Shandong province.
Laoshan district is named after Mount Lao, a sacred mountain that is home to three national intangible cultural heritages and 13 intangible cultural heritages at the provincial and city levels. The annual Laoshan Intangible Cultural Heritage Festival was held on Feb 15, with 14 folk performance teams representing different communities from across the district. It also features other traditional folk arts such as clay figurines and sugar-figure blowing.
With numerous stalls and stands, Licun Fair is one of the most bustling outdoor marketplaces in Shandong.
According to a chronological record from the early 17th century, the village fair was one of the most important large-scale fairs in the county, and in the late Qing Dynasty (1644-1911), it impacted surrounding areas for a hundred miles. Now, Licun village fair has transformed from a food trading bazaar to a comprehensive market, occupying an area of over 300,000 square meters. The 2016 Langya Dragon King Cultural Festival and Ocean Worship Ceremony took place on Feb 19 in Huangdao district of Qingdao. The festival dates back to 210 BC, when Qinshihuang, the first emperor of China, toured Langya town in Huangdao.
This year's event included drama shows, pre-sacrifice rituals and a ceremony, as well as candlelit vigil prayers. Titled A Door to the World, Qingdao's Rise from a Personal Perspective, the book is based on Egger's personal experiences, and looks at Qingdao from various aspects, such as history and culture, science and technology, city construction and transportation, education and society.
In 1989, he became the deputy mayor of Mannheim and remained in the post for the next 16 years. Even today the city is well-known for its German-style villas in well-preserved Badaguan scenic area.
To Egger, Qingdao was a door for China's opening-up in the past decades, and its development encapsulates how China gradually integrated into the world.
Norbert Egger (left) gives a copy of his new book to Liang Jianquan, Chinese consul general to Frankfurt, Germany. The coastal city, which has been dubbed the "soccer city" in China, was selected by the State Council as one of the national-level campus soccer experimental zones in April last year.
According to the newly announced plan, soccer will be developed for the young people, instead of a game for elite athletes.
The city will develop 300 schools at different levels featuring soccer education by 2017 and 100 of them will reach national standards.
To enhance talent development, the city will invite more veteran soccer players and volunteers to coach students. Wang revealed that a training program involving more than 1,500 soccer coaches will be launched this and next year. Jilin province, a heavy industrial base in Northeast China, regards the fast growth of its service sector in the past two years as an encouraging sign of its economic restructuring.
Changbai Mountain and the border regions with Russia and the Democratic People's Republic of Korea are popular tourist attractions in Jilin thanks to their picturesque scenery and ethnic cultures. Statistics from the Jilin government show that the added value of the province's service industry last year hit 534 billion yuan ($82 billion), up 8.3 percent year-on-year. Jilin started boosting the development of its service sector in 2011, by expediting its partnerships with advanced manufacturing industries and modern agriculture. The provincial government actively supports the development of manufacture-related, life-related and village-related service industries, and brand strategy and the formation of a host of industry development platforms for Jilin's service sector.
The government issued a series of supportive policies to promote the development of software programming, service outsourcing, cultural industry, tourism, household service, pension service and real estate industries.
The Jilin government became a strategic partner with Alibaba Group, China's largest e-commerce company, in early 2014.
All the cities in Jilin have made service sector development a key in restructuring their economies. The city governments in Yanbian, Tonghua and Liaoyuan also drafted directives on a service industry development plan and detailed implementation rules. Jilin makes the development of its financial industry a priority as it has been difficult and expensive for enterprises or individual businesspeople to obtain loans. The government has improved the province's financial policy environment and introduced Shengjing Bank, Huaxia Bank, Export-Import Bank of China, Hong Kong and Shanghai Banking Corporation and some other financial institutes. In the past five years, 79 financial institutes in Jilin have set up special departments for small enterprises, employing more than 5,400 people, and more than 500 financial products have been created for small and micro businesses. Changbai Mountain and border regions with Russia and the Democratic People's Republic of Korea are popular tourist attractions in Jilin for their picturesque scenery and ethnic cultures. In the past five years, Jilin has carried out 100 projects, each of which has investment of more than 100 million yuan, in logistics, information service, financial service, tourism and cultural innovation.
Changchun has the Northeast Asia cultural innovation technology park, Jilin Normal University technology innovation and cultural industry park, software and cartoon service outsourcing industrial park and two financial business zones. Yanbian has an IT industrial park that mainly outsources software services to Japan and the Republic of Korea, Tumen logistics land port, and Hunchun international logistics development zone. Baishan city is famous for its Changbai Mountain international tourism, leisure and holiday resort area. On Feb 14, the first workday after Spring Festival, the Jilin provincial government held a conference on further promoting the development of the service sector. Bayinchaolu said in the meeting that the government should drive the development of the service industry into the "fast lane", and make efforts to cultivate the sector as a robust new engine for Jilin's economic growth in the 13th Five-Year Plan (2016-20) period. According to the provincial government plan, in the next five years, the main objective is to expedite the development of the service industry, increase its share in the economy, and raise its level. He said China's Belt and Road Initiative offers Jilin opportunities to merge into the global service industry system through cooperating with Northeast Asian countries.
Jiang Chaoliang, Jilin provincial governor, urged governments at all levels in the province to issue more supportive policies, improve government services and create a favorable environment, especially in the fields of tax, finance and talent cultivation, for the development of the service sector. Ice and snow sculptures, hot springs and hoarfrost scenery were the most popular attractions, especially for tourists from the south of China. The number of travelers to hot springs in Dunhua, Yanbian and Jilin city reached the upper limit of the resorts' handling capacity. Tourists were also keen to participate in folk culture activities in the villages, experiencing local people's lifestyles, customs and food. The capital of Southwest China's Sichuan province is planning huge investments to establish itself as an international influence in innovation and business startups.
Chengdu announced on Feb 14 that it would establish a fund of up to 2 billion yuan ($307 million) to attract top personnel, both international and domestic, to the city. Jing Bin, head of the city's human resources office, said the innovation-driven city is thirsty for quality personnel and the situation "is much more urgent than at any other period in the past".
He said the city has formulated 10 new policies to upgrade its personnel development strategies. The move indicates that Chengdu has taken the lead in central and western China in terms of its support for innovation and startups and its search for the best personnel, he said. After assessment and evaluation, Jing said, each of the foreign personnel recognized as leaders in their fields would be entitled to grants of 3 million yuan.
Chengdu also announced it would reduce the red tape in government administration and approval procedures, and expects the moves to benefit local universities, organizations, research academies and agencies. Such institutions are encouraged to explore more channels to attract talented personnel and will receive up to 200,000 yuan each if they succeed in attracting much-needed personnel. In addition, the city is beefing up efforts to boost partnerships among enterprises, universities and governments. It wants companies to define what they need to develop further, and universities to cater to the company's needs in their research.
According to the 10 new policies, Chengdu plans to set up key personnel teams to oversee its funding. It said the highest level of support, which could reach 50 million yuan, would be provided to Nobel laureates to launch innovation and startup projects. As many individuals and new business startups find raising funds difficult, one of the new policies indicates the city would allocate combined capital of no less than 10 billion yuan, including loans and listing financing, in addition to startup financing. The maximum loans can reach 1 million yuan, while listing financing can be up to 5 million yuan for each company that qualifies.
In answer to individuals and companies that are feeling the pinch as they wait for their new products to enter the market and generate returns, the new policies state that products from projects that qualify could be listed on the Chengdu excellent product directory, a brand product promotion directory run by the government.
Local companies and government authorities that purchase those new products would be subsidized for 25 percent of their costs on their first order, with the maximum subsidy set at 5 million yuan.
In addition to support for qualified personnel from outside Chengdu, the government released three plans for local residents, including one for local excellent personnel, one for local youth and university startup 'stars' and a five-year action plan for industrial leaders. Under the new plan, the city plans to select around 100 leaders every year in 10 fields, including technological innovation and finance and provide financial support of up to 300,000 yuan for each. Every year, the city will also select youth and university students with promising innovation and startup projects and provide support of up to 200, 000 yuan each.
Under a five-year action plan for industrial leaders, Chengdu plans to train 50,000 outstanding employees of local industrial companies, and encourage local businesses to give special awards, stocks and options to such staff. Zero2IPO, one of the country's most influential startup and private capital raising groups, released a report last May that rated Chengdu as having competence in its startup environment equal to that of economic powerhouses such as Beijing, Shanghai and Shenzhen. The research arm of Alibaba, the country's e-commerce giant, said in a report released in July that China's "Silicon Valleys" are in six major cities with ample opportunities, one of which is Chengdu. Lian Ping, chief economist at the Bank of Communications, expressed his confidence in the city.
Niu Wenwen, president of Heima Group, a company offering startup services, said: "Chengdu has transformed itself into a hot spot for startups. Ni Zhengdong, chairman of Zero2IPO Group, said: "Chengdu has evolved into the fourth city after Beijing, Shanghai and Shenzhen in terms of its competitive edge to initiate new businesses. According to the city's HR office, Chengdu has employed 34 academicians and 169 national-level experts under the country's "1,000 Talents Project", a key project to lure top personnel. Statistics from the city's science and technology bureau show that Chengdu's technological transaction value in 2015 was 33.5 billion yuan and around 1,000 academic achievements were commercialized.
The city boasted 193 technological and startup incubators last year, covering a combined area of 15.06 million square meters.
Among those, 121 are for companies involved in technological research and 10 startup incubators were designated as national level.
More than 10 banks have promised to provide combined loans of up to 2.6 billion yuan to boost the city's startup wave. Also last year, 200 businesses provided nearly 500 million yuan in loans and an angel fund of 230 million was set up. The Global Innovation and Entrepreneurship Fair 2015 was held in Chengdu in November, with participation by about 150 investment agencies from 30 countries and regions. A total of 109 investment projects were agreed to out of almost 2,700 participating projects, with expected trade value of more than 5.32 billion yuan. Participants from an Entrepreneurial Tianfu program in Chengdu, in which they presented their projects and vied for investors. Chengdu has introduced a package of startup and innovation personnel policies for foreigners with promising startup projects or outstanding research achievements to lure top international personnel to the Southwest China city.
Qualified individuals can contact the city's human resources office and apply to be registered as one of Chengdu's leading foreign personnel. Those selected who require housing are eligible to free accommodation of at least 80 square meters and up to 200 sq m or a government subsidy to be used for rent or to purchase a home, the policies state. If selected researchers require offices, their employers should provide such space or subsidies to cover the cost.
The city promises to provide special support for foreigners under the 10 new policies, according to the local police station, which handles visas for the city.
More companies will be permitted to employ foreign experts, whose spouses and children would be eligible for five-year stay visas allowing multiple entries. The city plans to set up service teams in areas with dense populations of foreign residents. These teams will offer registration and visa consultation services and even provide reminders when visas near their expiry dates.
A China (Chengdu) Human Resources Service Park is planned, offering services including consultation and HR development services. Agencies will also be established to nurture intellectual achievements to industrial fruition . Universities, leading enterprises and industrial parks are encouraged to inaugurate their own innovation and startup organizations. Enterprises that become clients of such new organizations would be eligible for annual subsidies of up to 100,000 yuan ($15,350) each. Such organizations set up by local enterprises will be subsidized at up to 2 million yuan each. Services in household registration, housing and healthcare are to be strengthened and service centers and green channels set up.
A new award to honor excellent startup personnel who have at been in the city at least five years and made "great contributions". Experts, investors and entrepreneurs share their views on Chengdu's startup and innovation environment, Yang Cheng and Peng Chao report. Each year, major attractions in Chengdu will hold a series of festive events with themes ranging from the Three Kingdoms, the ancient Shu state, folk customs, poetry and food.
This year, the Chengdu Temple Fair, Chengdu Jinsha Sun Festival and the 7th Chengdu Du Fu Festival will be held from Feb 6 to 22.
The Chengdu Temple Fair will focus on the Three Kingdoms and hold events under the theme of the ancient Silk Road and the Year of Monkey. Chengdu Jinsha Sun Festival, which is featuring ancient Chengdu as its theme, will showcase the ancient city's cultural achievements from the Shu State to the zenith of the Roman Empire through exhibitions, lanterns and performances. The first Sichuan Festival of Cultural Consumption as well as the Yangtze River Temple Fair will be held from Feb 6 to March 6 in the city of Yibin, located in southeastern Sichuan. The event, planned and implemented by the Chengdu Temple Fair organizers, will feature lantern exhibitions, stage performances and food stalls.
Lantern fairs have a history of 800 years in the city of Zigong, located in southern Sichuan. The city's organizers have been invited to hold lantern fairs in about 200 cities and regions in China and in 60 cities across the globe, including the United States, Russia, South Korea, Singapore and Malaysia. The 22nd Zigong International Lantern Fair, which began in late January, will run through the middle of March.

The 48th Chengdu International Panda Lantern Fair began on Feb 2 at Qicai Tianye in Sansheng township, located near Chengdu.
The city of Langzhong, located in the northeastern region of Sichuan, has long been hailed as the birthplace of the Spring Festival holiday. Langzhong residents customarily celebrate the festival by eating porridge on the eighth day of the 12th lunar month, after which they sweep the house, hold a New Year's vigil, organize ceremonies to worship their ancestors, set off fireworks, make dragon lanterns, fly Kong Ming lanterns and have family gatherings.
Visitors can also go to Deyang, located in northern Sichuan, where they can see New Year's paintings, or participate in ceremonial events in nearby Sanxingdui. Residents in Sichuan province hold a variety of colorful activities to celebrate the coming Spring Festival. Yahoo , Facebook , Facebook , Twitter , Twitter , Google+ , Google+ , Myspace , Myspace , Linkedin , Linkedin , Odnoklassniki , Odnoklassniki , Vkontakte , Vkontakte , Google , Google , Yahoo , Yahoo , Rambler , Rambler , Yandex , Yandex , Gmail , Gmail , Yahoo!
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This year, the event will be themed "Green economy - opportunities for waste management", providing a multilateral platform for exchanges on green commerce, technology and information among environmental industries. It is a significant annual event in the environmental industry, constantly enhancing its quality and standards and promoting exchanges and cooperation. It's approaching the bewitching hour, and a few kilometers away my fiercest rival is, I hope, about to fall into the arms of Morpheus. It gently guides you into a two-week training plan, and if in the evening you have failed to complete your day's exercises the app lets you know, not so gently, by sending out a hectoring beep.
Going by social media posts I began to think their lives are a lot more active and interesting than mine, but I now realize we are not much different from one another. Generally I and my friends see me as the model of meekness and diffidence, but I can now see that when it comes to competition I am as tough as they come. Previously I had given my muscles little attention since graduating from college more than a decade ago. On the evening of Lantern Festival on Feb 22 I treated myself to a big dinner and long, warm shower and slipped into bed about 10pm. Even after admitting my guilt, pledging to exercise the next morning, she sent me a stream of warnings. I made the mistake of recommending the app to her, and now she is as obsessed as the rest of us, training every day. Every day in the subway people push me and stand on my feet without so much as a word of apology, and one day I am going to be strong and confident enough to give as good as I get. The man I deposed to take second spot is now taking pictures of his belly, sending them to me and demanding that I show him mine.
We asked leading meditation and mindfulness teachers to help demystify these ancient traditions. So it's not only a time to not ingest, it's a time to let the body let go," says Emily Fletcher, a former Broadway actress and founder of Ziva Meditation in New York which offers in person and online training. Sometimes compared to mental strength training, mindfulness can be practiced washing the dishes, driving to work, brushing your teeth and during other routine tasks. There's slowly been a backlash against a distracted, multi-tasking lifestyle to one that is more self-aware, live in the moment attitude. For some, a YouTube meditation video or a mindfulness exercise without guidance might feel forced and unfulfilling at first.
In Central Park, 1,500 people signed up for a free group meditation this summer called The Big Quiet and 800 people sold out a New York concert venue, paying $20 to sit in silence. There's something about being in quiet and sharing that with a group that creates almost like a vortex. Most are between four to 15-minutes and Fletcher's offering include guided visualization for a first date, sports performance and test taking. The fees payable have also been reduced and a cross-platform digital administrative system has been launched to offer further conveniences to businesses. The procedures for personal businesses have also been simplified via an all-encompassing digital platform.
The local government said that all clearance procedures can now be done at one service window, service fees have been reduced and there are customs officers working around the clock. It has long been, and still is, one of the country's top cities for the home decoration and electrical appliance industries, with a total output amounting to 700 billion yuan in 2015. Foshan is the hub for an economic cooperation pilot zone among the three regions that was established as a result of their newly enhanced transportation links.
Foshan, as well as much of Guangdong, has long been one of the country's leaders in trade and manufacturing, while Guizhou has valuable energy and mineral resources and Guangxi is best known as an agricultural base.
It also launched a plan to make the city go "full Internet Plus" last year, in a bid to better connect the players to the market.
Everything you don't see, so long as it's in a house, you also get it here," said Zhang Kaiji, head of the Foshan Bureau of Commerce. Foshan Lighting, as its name suggests, also hails from the city, as do many other producers.
It's also home to the renowned housing property developer Country Garden and is the base for Foshan Haitian Flavouring & Food, the largest manufacturer of soy sauce in the world. It will also provide logistics, financing tools, e-commerce channels and various other conveniences for buyers. There are now more than 100 such markets for the home decoration and appliance industries in the city, including massive markets in Lecong township, where buyers from around the world come to shop. According to the bureau of commerce, the industry's exports to Africa reached more than 58 billion yuan in 2015 and exports to Latin America reached 21 billion yuan. Products and artifacts from the region, including food, wine, musical instruments and Arabic calligraphy, were displayed outside the ministry's Blue Hall.
The event, formerly known as the Ningxia Fair and the China-Arab States Economic and Trade Forum, has been hosted five times in Ningxia since 2010. At the event, 241 projects were signed, involving 183 billion yuan ($27.93 billion) and covering fields such as food, new materials and equipment manufacturing. The autonomous region has actively strengthened economic and trade cooperation with Arabic countries and other nations in recent years as it constructed the zone and a bonded area in Yinchuan. Among them, 32 were based in countries along the Silk Road Economic Belt and the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road, initiatives proposed by President Xi Jinping in 2013. It also plans to accelerate the construction of an industrial park in Oman, which is expected to open in late May. It opened air routes connecting Yinchuan directly to overseas regions, including Dubai, last year.
Three flights are expected to fly to Dubai through Yinchuan every day by the end of August. According to the document, the region would boost industries including wine, advanced equipment manufacturing and new energy. The Shahu Lake scenic spot, 56 kilometers from the capital city Yinchuan, offers stunning views of sand, water, reeds, birds, mountains and lotuses.
The country's first desert railway, the Baotou-Lanzhou railway, passes through the tourist attraction.
Visitors can go to the Chinese Hui Cultural Park, a historic and cultural museum of the Hui ethnic group, experience the daily life of local Muslims in a village in Wuzhong city and enjoy halal food.
The Ningxia Tourism Bureau said that to better serve Muslim participants, seven days of training in Muslim reception manners and Arabic service language was organized for tourist destinations and hotels before the conference. Tourism has become an engine of economic development in the autonomous region, local officials said. It also plans to invite US and Canadian travel agencies to participate in a conference at the event and visit the region, which was among 46 places to go recommended by the New York Times in 2013. It will start from Yinchuan and cross more than 20 cities in China, Pakistan, Oman and the United Arab Emirates. The average growth rate over the five years was 9.7 percent, according to the 2016 government work report released on Feb 18. Ten domestic leading universities, including Tsinghua University and Harbin Engineering University, have established R&D centers in Qingdao. It has developed six national-level economic parks and four special customs supervision zones to strengthen its trade and communication with other markets. The total export and import volume between 2011 and 2015 was $372.5 billion, according to the government work report. The newly developed port and the airport that is under development will better serve the city in upcoming years. It will accelerate its construction of marine-related industrial parks and will invest 120 billion yuan on 140 related projects in the next five years.
The sector is expected to contribute 57 percent of Qingdao's GDP in the 13th Five-Year Plan period (2016-20). As a comprehensive cultural event, it combines local cuisine and snacks, folk performances, sports, trade and commerce, and tourism. The fair is also known as Xiangyouguozi or "fried dough sticks" fair, as the snack is a feature of the event. The worship platform he used is still preserved as part of the country's ancient cultural heritage.
Its coastal scenery, moderate climate, hospitable residents, mix of classical and modern culture and dynamic economic development, impressed me greatly. Under his efforts, Qingdao and Mannheim established a friendship relationship in 1995, and Mannheim became the first German city to forge close cooperative relations with Qingdao. In addition, a basic teaching skills competition in primary and high schools will be held every year. By the end of last year, Jilin's financial industrial asset size was 3.23 trillion yuan, an increase of about 20 percent every year since 2011. Last year, the total of e-commerce transactions in Jilin surpassed 260 billion yuan, a steep rise of 40 percent from a year earlier.
The provincial capital of Changchun parallels the service sector with industries as dual engines of its economy. The city mayor, district and county heads in Songyuan signed liability statements, which clearly stipulated their responsibilities in boosting the development of the local service sector. Local rural banks, credit cooperatives, small loan companies and financing guarantee companies have sprung up in large numbers. Among 11 land port cities along the border, 10 have developed driving, horse riding and Northeast Asia tour programs with partners from the DPRK. Statistics from the provincial government show that for every 1,000 people aged 60 or above, Jilin had 32 beds in nursing homes last year, up 8.9 percent year-on-year. The huge amount of investment coming from out of the province is helping Jilin's service industry realize a big leap forward in development.
Gongzhuling city's strength in the service industry is in logistics at the Daling logistics industrial park. More than 20,000 people climbed Changbai Mountain and about 40,000 tourists visited Songhua Lake, an increase of 200 percent year-on-year. Leading personnel at national level would be eligible for 2 million yuan and leading talent at the regional level to 1.2 million yuan.
Visitors will have a chance to taste Chinese and foreign snacks and check out traditional artworks. With its theme of poetry and flowers, the event will include a poetry festival and a plum flower exhibition. Across a 10-hectare park, the event consists of 110,000 modern lighting displays in four categories: Amazing China, Romantic France, Great China and Happy Chinese New Year. The fair boasts more than 100 lighting displays over more than 26 hectares, double the size of the fair of previous years. Legend has it that astronomer Luo Xiahong during the Han Dynasty set the first day of the first lunar month, which is the start of Spring Festival, in the city.
Stops include Jiuhe Farm in southwestern Sichuan where they can explore a village filled with New Year's paintings and traditional performances. For example, between 8pm and 11pm on Valentine's Day, as the rest of the world was out on the town celebrating love, I and several of my Keep accomplices, sad souls that we are, were at home giving tender loving care to our butts and abs.
She checks my training record every evening, too, and if I haven't done it she starts putting the hard word on me.
The point is to prevent your mind from wandering, projecting fear and worry from the past and future and training yourself to accept and enjoy the moment. It's t like the collective energy of the room starts to swirl together," says event organizer Jesse Israel, whose invite-only Medi Club in New York has grown to 1,000 people who vie for 200 spots at monthly meet-ups. 1 Giant Mind's free app includes sessions between 10 and 20 minutes with a guide, music or silence.
The city has rightly called the initiative a "one-stop shop", as residents now only have to go to one service window to complete the administrative requirements. Smooth leveraging of their strengths and better allocation of their resources would be in favor of their overall development, according to a government assessment of the pilot zone. Ceramic tiles are a specialty of the city, and the local output accounts for the largest share of the country's total. The city also plans to set up experience centers and showrooms for one-stop shopping outside their home base. The region has cooperated with e-commerce giant Alibaba to sell local specialties, including wine and halal food, online to other countries and regions. It wants to become a demonstration area for inland opening-up and play an important role in the Silk Road Economic Belt. Other activities include lighting colorful oil lamps made from turnips, praying for peace, and various shows and operas.
It is the first time that Jilin's service sector has grown faster than its industries for two consecutive years. Jilin city, the second-largest city economy in the east of the province that bears the same name, has made boosting the development of the service sector a key work task for county and district governments, which serves as an important reference to evaluate local civil servants' performance. Jilin now has 32 modern service industry zones, which accommodate more than 3,000 enterprises and provide over 30,000 jobs.
The trip also takes visitors to Lushang Hot Spring, the only warm spring rich in sodium bicarbonate, and the Sanxingdui Museum. It's the last day of February in a leap year, and I am about to get the most out of the extra time to make a leap he will never forget.
1 and who is in the habit of poring over everybody's training record every day, got shirty when I told her I was giving my exercises a miss.
Places in Africa and South America may soon witness such outlets, said Liu, the deputy chief.

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