An employee works at a metal tube manufacturing company in Handan, Hebei province. [Photo/Xinhua] China's technology-heavy STAR Market is expected to be at the forefront of the country's technology advancement and innovation efforts. The market's qualitative development is expected to attract listings from more companies, its operator Shanghai Stock Exchange said on Wednesday. Strengthening China's strategic technology power has been identified as one of the eight key missions in 2021 for the country at the recently concluded Central Economic Work Conference. The Shanghai bourse said the STAR Market should look to attract more companies with key technologies, especially in sectors like integrated circuits, biomedicine and high-end equipment. It should also help technology innovation companies to optimize and control their industrial chains so that they can be more self-reliant. In addition, support should also be extended to listed technology companies so that they can lead the development of the entire industry. This in turn will help the Chinese capital market become a major destination for innovation, said the SSE. Li Qiang, Party secretary of Shanghai, had in his speech during the anniversary of the STAR Market stressed the fact that technology advancement is closely related to a strong capital market and the competitiveness of companies. It is only with the combination of these two elements can a truly virtuous cycle be nurtured, he said. Zhao Haizhou, associate partner of the A-share department for the East China area at consultancy firm Deloitte, said the technology board has been extremely attractive for "hard technology" companies thanks to its convenient financing options. Till date, 206 companies have listed their shares on the STAR Market since its inception in July 2019. The total market capitalization of these companies amounted to 3.3 trillion yuan ($510 billion) and 83 percent of the listings were from companies specializing in integrated circuits, software, biomedicine and high-end equipment. Professional services provider EY said in its latest report that the Shanghai Stock Exchange will have 233 initial public offerings this year, outnumbering all other bourses in the world. The STAR Market has overtaken all the other boards of the A-share market in terms of number of IPOs and total financing amount, it said. The value of 10 largest IPOs recorded at the A-share market this year rose by 41 percent on a yearly basis to 141.7 billion yuan. Seven of the 10 largest IPOs were made on the STAR Market, which managed to raise a total financing of 83.9 billion yuan, according to EY. The A-share market will remain active in terms of IPO traffic in 2021, with the STAR Market and the technology-focused ChiNext at the Shenzhen bourse attracting the most IPOs, said EY.