Yangtze River Delta becomes magnet for foreign investors

(Xinhua) 15:49, December 14, 2023

SHANGHAI, Dec. 14 (Xinhua) -- China's Yangtze River Delta region is playing an increasingly important role in attracting foreign investment thanks to its economic development, solid industrial foundation and talent pool.

Shanghai and the provinces of Jiangsu, Zhejiang and Anhui all fall under the ambit of the Yangtze River Delta region.

Elodie Latour, vice president of Decathlon China, and her colleagues just celebrated the 20th anniversary of the global sports brand's entry into the Chinese retail market.

Over the past two decades, Decathlon has gradually developed a whole industry chain business in China, which integrates product development, design, production, logistics, branding and retailing, Latour said, noting that China has become the first market with such a whole industry chain layout outside of France.

"Currently, we own four factories in China, three of which are located in the Yangtze River Delta region," she said, adding that among their 11 intelligent manufacturing and sourcing centers in China, four are located in this region. The company also has about 200 physical stores in China and over 50 of these are in the Yangtze River Delta region.

Latour mentioned China's cycling fever as an example. With the popularity of cycling in China increasing in recent years, cycling has become one of the key categories of focus for Decathlon China.

"Our China bike manufacturing workshop in Suzhou of Jiangsu, a benchmark factory for Decathlon, serves as a hub for connecting the industrial chain's upstream and downstream businesses, fostering collaboration to enhance process management and develop innovative products, so that we can respond quickly to market changes and demands," she said.

Like Decathlon, AstraZeneca, a major international pharmaceutical company, also chose the Yangtze River Delta as its first stop in China.

The company now has both its Chinese headquarters and global research and development (R&D) center settled in Shanghai, along with two global supply bases established in the cities of Wuxi and Taizhou in Jiangsu Province.

According to Wang Lei, AstraZeneca's executive vice president, given the innovation capacity and the modern industrial system in the Yangtze River Delta region, the company has confidence in expansion of its investment in this region.

"The Yangtze River Delta is at the forefront of China's opening up. We will continue to expand the regional layout of the Yangtze River Delta, promote local innovation and development globally, and support the high-quality development of medical and health services in the region," said Wang.

Apart from its industrial competitiveness, abundant talent and strong innovation capacity, the Yangtze River Delta also appeals to investors worldwide thanks to its sound business environment.

In May this year, Wacker Chemie AG, a leading German chemical company, completed the capacity expansion for vinyl-acetate-ethylene copolymer dispersion and VAE dispersible polymer powders at its production base in Nanjing, capital city of Jiangsu Province, with an investment of around 100 million U.S. dollars.

Later in September 2023, the company announced another investment of around 150 million euros (about 162 million U.S. dollars) to build a new downstream production line for high-performance specialty silicone at its Zhangjiagang base in Jiangsu.

"During the past few years, multiple measures have been introduced to further optimize the business environment in the Yangtze River Delta region," said Hu Wentao, president of Wacker China. "Thanks to the strong support of local governments, the expansion projects at our Zhangjiagang and Nanjing bases have progressed very efficiently."

He noted that the delta region has formed industrial clusters in strategic emerging industries such as artificial intelligence, automotive, biomedical and advanced manufacturing, which offers a great bonus for companies as they can get closer to their customers.

"We expect the region to strengthen coordination and collaboration and promote more resource sharing and exchanges for higher-level opening-up," Hu added.

(Web editor: Zhang Kaiwei, Zhong Wenxing)


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