Suzhou’s Investment Zones

Tuesday, August 14, 2007 4:43

Due in large part to its proximity to Shanghai, Suzhou was one of the first regional cities that foreign companies looked to setup manufacturing. More and more foreign companies are continuing to move to Suzhou to open new factories as the prices of land and labor costs are lower.

For Suzhou, a city that has planned their economy to support and benefit from the growth in Shanghai, the foresight and planning has paid off. Many foreign executives located in Shanghai look to Suzhou before anywhere else for further investment in the south as operations can be managed from Shanghai if need. However, the city is also very suitable to supporting an expatriate lifestyle, and many project managers are opting to move to Suzhou full time

Suzhou Industrial Park (SIP):
Perhaps the most well known investment park in the foreign community, SIP is a joint venture between the Singapore and Suzhou governments. Since being established in 1994, the Singapore—Suzhou Industrial Park has attracted a total of 2650 companies in its 13 years. With 6 projects valued at over 1 billion USD, and 60 projects over 100 million, these 2650 companies have resulted in over 27 billion USD in contracted foreign investment
Basic Stats: under 15 – 30 minutes from downtown depending on destination in zone; Investors include Prologis; 3M, GE, BP, Dupont; Common labor is 1000-1800/ month; average park investment is 10.2 million USD

Suzhou National New & Hi-tech Development Zone
Established in 1992, the Suzhou Hi-technology development zone is a state level zone that focuses on the research, development, and manufacturing of goods. By the end of 2005, over 15 billion had been invested through 1300 ventures (60 of while are ventures of Fortune 500 companies). Of this 15 billion USD, electronics and Telecommunications accounted for 45%, Precision machinery was 30%, and fine chemical 15%.
Basic Stats: Primary investors are Asian corporations (Japanese, HK, Taiwan, and Korea); Greenfield and existing facilities available; Common labor rates up to 1200RMB/ month; 7-10 working days for business license

Zhangjiagang Chemical Industrial Park and Free Trade Zone:
Located an hour and a half west of Shanghai and hour north of Suzhou, the Zhangjiagang area is becoming one of Jiangsu’s fastest growing areas for chemical manufacturing, and has already attracted 80 fine chemical companies. With a free trade zone, Yangtze river port, export processing zone, and the chemical industrial park, Zhangjiagang has recently been successful at attracting away foreign investment from other surrounding areas.
Basic Stats: Investments under 100M USD occur in Suzhou; FTZ and Bonded facilities on site; Investment from Nippon Sanso, Wacker Chemical, Chevron, and Dow Chemical; common labor between 800-1200RMB/ month

Next up… Xi’an (Macro-profile here)

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