On Sunday morning, the Delegation met with local government officials at a local hotel to discuss and share information regarding the Hangzhou Hi-Tech Industry Development Zone. During this meeting, the Delegation learned that Hangzhou ranks 8th among the 88 National Hi-Tech zones in China. Hangzhou is considered a National Software Industry Base, a National Intellectual Property Rights Protection Zone and a National Animation Zone. In 2011, the total value of software and outsourcing in Hangzhou was about 65 billion RMB. Hangzhou has 1,200 software companies with about 70,000 people involved in research and development and ranks 3rd among the 35 national Software Parks in China, second only to Beijing and Shanghai. Much like Suzhou and Wuhan, Hangzhou has invested in creating a world-class higher educational system. Specifically, Hangzhou has 37 universities with a current campus population of about 400,000 students. Over 20,000 students graduate per year with information technology (IT) degrees.
On Sunday afternoon, the Delegation traveled back to West Lake, which was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2011, for a boat ride. The lake is surrounded by mountains on three sides and is quite beautiful. The natural beauty of the lake has influenced poets and painters for ages and in fact, the lake has been among the most important sources of inspiration for Chinese garden designers. One of the sights from the boat was that of the Leifeng Pagoda. Leifeng Pagoda is a five-story tall tower with eight sides. It was originally constructed in the year A.D. 975, collapsed in 1924, and then rebuilt in 2002.
On Sunday evening, we had a Welcome Banquet with the government officials of Hangzhou. The Welcome dinners are very elaborate and formal affairs. The tables are beautifully decorated with colorful table linens and gorgeous floral arrangements. The dinners include numerous dishes which tend to reflect the specialties of the region.
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