Photo taken on July 26, 2018 shows the Eden Garden Culture & Entertainment Square, in Mauritius. (Xinhua/Wang Teng)
by Xinhua writers Jin Zheng, Wen Hao
PORT LOUIS, July 28 (Xinhua) -- A glittering "Eden Garden," located at the heart of China-built Jinfei Economic, Trade & Cooperation Zone (Jinfei Zone) in western Mauritius, will symbolize the Indian Ocean Archipelago's march toward modernity.
Just like its name "Eden," this gleaming complex that blends Chinese architectural prowess with Africa's aesthetic beauty is a crown jewel that is a spectacle to behold.
Its novel architectural design of symmetric and triangle elements towering to the sky in a simplified and modern expression presents a striking sense of power and grandeur, and its well-elaborated configuration in functionality of arts gallery, exhibition, wedding, KTV, cinemas, leisure and entertainment, water-curtain lighting show and open-air performance stands all in one.
The Eden Garden Culture & Entertainment Square that will be unveiled in October this year straddles a huge swathe of Jinfei Zone that happens to be the first smart city to be developed in Mauritius through a partnership with China.
This world-class economic and trade zone that occupies 211 hectares of land is located 3.5 kilometers west of the Mauritian capital of Port Louis near some of the country's most iconic landscapes.
Mauritius' dream of having an outstanding smart city overlooking a serene beachfront will be realized in 2025 thanks to strategic harnessing of capital, technology and skills from China.
It was in 2014 that the Mauritian government unveiled the Smart City Program in a bid to attract investments in high-tech industries, financial services, tourism and the blue economy.
China's Shanxi Investments Group was invited to undertake the development of Jinfei Zone, or Jinfei Smart City, in a region that was once a marshland.
Hang Lianjun, the general manager of the Shanxi Investments Group, said reclaiming a marshland to put up a modern smart city was challenging but human ingenuity and determination finally ushered in positive outcomes.
The Shanxi Investments Group followed guidelines outlined by the Mauritian government to implement the Jinfei Zone project that blends modernity with Afro-centric environmental and cultural symbols.
Hang said the company's contractual terms stated that it would develop the physical infrastructure and other amenities that are a defining feature of a smart city before handing it over to the Mauritian government.
"Through negotiations, we handed over roads, fences, pipe networks and other public and auxiliary facilities to the Mauritian government, which offset the rent of some land in the park, while reducing the continued investment and maintenance costs in the future," said Hang.
A new master-plan for Jinfei Zone, that was updated in 2016 and was endorsed by both Mauritian and Chinese governments, seeks to promote tourism, education, healthcare, tourism and finance sectors by harnessing smart technologies.
Besides the landmark "Eden Garden", Other projects to be implemented in Jinfei Zone include a Sino-Africa financial service center that will act as a one-stop shop for overseas Chinese firms keen to explore business opportunities in Mauritius.
The establishment of an Internet Data Center that will be unveiled later this year will digitize operations at the zone.
Hang said key activities at Jinfei Zone like financial services and cultural tourism will be intelligently controlled.
The establishment of a smart city in Mauritius which is variously described as a shining pearl over Indian Ocean will boost its position as a strategic link on the Belt and Road Initiative put forward by the Chinese government.
Lately, Chinese investors have demonstrated keen interest to invest in the Jinfei Zone.
Lu Jixian, the managing director of China's Cinda Jinfei B&R Fund said Chinese companies have been attracted by Mauritius' economic competitiveness, friendly policies and strategic location to invest inside the new industrial park.
Jinfei Zone, that borrows heavily from Chinese model of establishing smart cities to become financial services, technology and tourism hubs, has won accolades from Mauritius top leadership.
Mauritian Prime Minister Anerood Jugnauth said during a tour of Jinfei Zone early this year that it would herald a new era of economic revival in the country.