On Friday afternoon, the 13thof December 2019, AS Economics students with their teachers arrived at Shenzhen Museum. Here, we learned the history of Shenzhen and experienced closely to beats of the heart of development.
Before we entered the museum, teachers distributed a worksheet for research, which listed some questions that required detailed information. Besides, there were some analysis questions to improve critical thinking and enhance further understanding of the subject.
At the entrance, there stood a statue of a bull. The bull is a symbol of the people in Shenzhen, diligent, modest and tenacious. The bull is also a symbol of the city itself, innovative and pioneering.
Walking through the corridor, we could see pictures of familiar scenes appeared in History textbooks. In 1978, the third Plenary session of the Eleventh Central Committee declared “reform and open-up”. In 1979, Standing Committee of the Fifth National People’s Congress announced the establishment of Shenzhen Special Economic Zone. Then, the “Story of the Spring” of reform and open-up has spread from the South to the North, from East to the West. Followed this route, we saw a story of Shenzhen which developed from a poor fishing county to an international metropolitan. Within 40 years, lives have changed a lot.
We deeply experienced a famous saying in this trip, called “Science and Technology are the primary source of productivity.” Travelled through the time axis, we witnessed the extreme speed of the development of exporting manufacturing industry of Shenzhen. From the simple, labour-incentive, low value-added assembly manufacturing to the complex, technology and capital incentive, high value-added advanced technological manufacturing, innovation has managed to lead numerous of enterprises to develop from infancy, grow and spread, step forth to international market and become multinationals. All in all, the key to success is innovation.
More importantly, we learnt new knowledge about economics development––how can a country receive economic growth. One of the most famous example of economic development is the “China’s Miracle”, and this miracle is concentrated in the story of Shenzhen. From the experience of success in Shenzhen, we further understood the multi-dimensional functions of a government. Not only does a government need to provide basic institutions of law, judge, contract enforcement and basic infrastructure, but it also needs to plan the development of the economy as a whole. By directive planning, the government can provide essential information to the firm so that it can grow faster and smoother in the correct direction. Furthermore, governments plan for the society as a whole, thus will improve the whole supply-chain of a typical industry which gives the society a big push forward. Social welfare and benefit are also considered as an aim of the government. Thus, an enhanced and active role of the government combined with basic structure of market economy is the unquestionable key to success.
In consequence, we should learn more about the history. History, as a mirror, reflects the brightness, which is the correct method and the correct way to go. By studying the history, we should never forget where we started and why we started, combine with our current experiences, to continue to cope with the challenges of known unknowns and unknown unknowns.