Tech innovation is believed to almost certainly be the key driving force behind long-term global economic growth, and its use has been strongly linked to market transformation, more robust international trade and improved living standards, analysts said at a Thursday conference in Beijing.

China’s push to carve a niche for itself in global technology leadership has been relentless, claimed Wu Gansha, former director Intel Labs China, at the 9th CKGSB Young Investors’ Forum. Its rise in tech has been spurred by a number larger tech firms, as Tencent and Baidu. Now, more and more newly founded startups have joined the world first-class tech innovation.

“What is awesome is the speed and effectiveness with has built the tech self-reliance initiative (Made in 2025) from scratch,” he said, pointing out the exemplary role the nation’s bicycle-sharing programs that sweeping the globe.

More than 10 million bikes have been put onto streets around the country and more than 100 million have registered to use the services, according to statistics released by the Ministry Transport. Through 2016, the nation has seen a 700 percent in bike-share users.

“All it takes to obtain one from a bike-sharing service is a few taps on a smartphone,” Wu added, explaining tech has contributed to an explosion IT-based systems that make bike sharing equipped with GPS tracking and smart locks possible.

As a further to explain the association between economic growth and tech innovation, Wu said, “It isn’t hard to envision how advances in tech could lead to the automation our future.”

“Being hell-bent on advancing self-driving-vehicle technology, we want to create a world that ends all road related accidents and fatalities, as well as traffic jams by 2031, when commuters could save a third travel time.”

Wu said by then, the driverless, computer-driven cars would cut down on excessive parking requirements, boost mass transit and free up at least 30 percent road-side and underground parking spaces for development.

Half 65 entrepreneurs with a combined assets exceeding 100 billion yuan ($14.5 billion) responded to a questionnaire saying they would upgrade and transform themselves rapidly to become a force in the nation’s fast-growing tech sector, said Liu Jing, a finance professor at China’s leading school Cheung Kong Graduate School Business.

2016 saw a stable growth in the world’s GDP, a trend obviously associated with recent high-tech innovations like artificial intelligence, machine learning, and cloud-computing, Liu said, adding this is despite some analysts’ belief global trade has fallen to its lowest level since the recession in 2009.

“It was trade only in traditional industries, not the tech world,” Liu explained. He added the recent -US trade dispute was a lagged effect the global economic downturn since 2008 when talking stronger economic outlooks in most emerging markets.

Other news China:

China’s Companies Poised to Take Leap in Developing a Driverless Car