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The fate of Shenzhen in the southern province of Guangdong has taken a dramatic turn since it became China's first Special Economic Zone in 1980. Shenzhen's economic fame has drawn millions of migrants from China's hinterland as well as overseas. And in their eyes, Shenzhen's development provides them with not only business opportunities, but also comfortable living conditions.
Sunny Ramchand is from Mumbai in India. He has been living in Shenzhen for more than 20 years. As well as his own business here, Sunny has a happy family with his Chinese wife and three daughters. He likes to communicate with local people in fluent Cantonese and Putonghua, or Standard Chinese,. Talking about what Shenzhen was like when he first arrived, he says the place deeply impressed him at that time.
"Talking of life, it was impossible. Because you couldn’t even call this place a city. It was all villages. So I started everything from scratch. "
Sunny still keeps some foreign exchange certificates which was the only money that could be used by foreigners in China at the time. He often shows this kind of money to his daughters and tells them the history of Shenzhen and what he experienced in this city. In his eyes, Shenzhen has dramatically developed in the past 20 years. He feels lucky to have witnessed the changes.
Sunny Ramchand said,"When China opened up with reforms, this was the first place and the best place. Because it integrated with Hong Kong foreign investment quickly poured in. What was a small village became the fastest growing metropolis in the world. It was the best opportunity you could have had. "
There is one phrase to describe Shenzhen’s economic development, Sunny mentions “Shenzhen Speed”. Being one of China’s wealthiest as well as youngest cities, Shenzhen’s existence is a true reflection of the extent of economic metamorphosis that China has been experiencing since the 1980s.
Where there was a small fishing village 30 years ago, it’s now a metropolis of more than 10 million people and growing. After making tremendous contributions to raising the material well-being of the Chinese people in the past, Shenzhen has a new role to play in the country’s future development.