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Decoding Chinese city's lure to foreign companies

(Xinhua)    16:00, September 11, 2019

NANJING, Sept. 11 (Xinhua) -- Suzhou, a city in eastern China's Jiangsu Province, has become one of the most popular investment destinations for foreign companies in the country.

Having a population of more than 10 million, the city attracted 475 foreign investment projects and six billion U.S. dollars of foreign investment in the first half of the year.

"China is one of our most important markets," said Syed Jafry, senior vice president of Thermo Fisher Scientific, a biotechnology product development company of the United States. The company, which has more than 5,000 employees in China, signed an agreement to invest and build an additional production base in the city in August.

"We will focus on the investment of biological medicine and play a more important role in the field of biological medicine and technology," Jafry added.

EXCELLENT BUSINESS ENVIRONMENT

For many international companies that invest in Suzhou, an efficient government with excellent problem-solving abilities is one of the city's biggest attractions.

"In Suzhou, the government can solve our problems overnight after receiving our request, which is hard to imagine in many other countries," said Yu Qiling, senior vice president in commerce and administration of Bosch Automotive Electronics China.

"The mayor and deputy mayor of Taicang City came to our company on their own and listened to our requests," said Liu Jiamin, plant manager of a Taicang-based factory of Alpine Electronics. Taicang is under the administration of Suzhou.

The city government has held more than 200 seminars on solving the problems of over 2,000 companies since 2018, and the government officials have visited over 1,000 companies to learn about their requests, according to the city's government.

SUPPORTS OF INDUSTRIES, TECHNOLOGIES

For Samsung Electronics and many other international companies, complete industry chains and technological support in Suzhou are their reasons for investing in the city.

"The city has a complete industry chain that we need to assemble production lines and make products, which helps us save a lot of time and cost on transportation," said Li Chengchun, deputy general manager of Samsung Electronics Suzhou.

With hundreds of thousands of enterprises, including about 170,000 foreign-funded companies, the city boasts a solid foundation of various industries including the auto industry, artificial intelligence (AI) and big data.

The city has cooperated with universities and research institutes worldwide including the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and Shanghai Jiao Tong University to develop AI and other industries.

"One-fifth of the employees in our company in Suzhou are researchers," said Yu Qiling with Bosch Automotive Electronics China.

"We will keep our commitment to developing in China in the long term," said Jafry.

(For the latest China news, Please follow People's Daily on Twitter and Facebook)(Web editor: Liang Jun, Bianji)

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