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Suzhous opening-up symbolizes start of golden age in new era

日期:2020-01-10 | 来源:易联翻译 | 阅读:

Suzhou has long been known globally for its ancient gardens, canals and culture-but today it is increasingly known for its contributions to globalization.




The ancient city that has become a modern metropolis is now poised to play a greater role in the future through a slew of measures to accelerate its opening-up.


At the Conference on Further Opening-up in Suzhou on Jan 3, the city government announced tens of billions of yuan in incentives for investment, talent, innovation and special development.


Suzhou accounts for 0.09 percent of China's land area but contributes 2.1 percent to the country's GDP. The city's GDP was the highest among mainland cities at 1.93 trillion yuan ($278 billion) in 2019.


Suzhou hosts over 300 foreign-funded headquarters, and 156 Fortune 500 companies have invested in more than 400 projects in the city, according to the city government. Foreign investment reached $132 billion last year.


Zhang Fu, operations department plant manager of Carel Electronic (Suzhou) Co, said the wholly foreign owned company decided to enter the Chinese mainland via Suzhou in 2005 because "the business policy for industry is very good. There are many policies that are incentives for industries to work better."


While Suzhou has continued to flourish, it faces challenges such as trade friction. For instance, the city accounts for one-eighth of China's and two-thirds of Jiangsu's trade with the United States.


The Communist Party of China's Jiangsu Provincial Committee specifically called upon Suzhou to set the pace for greater opening-up after President Xi Jinping called for the construction of a new Jiangsu that embodies prosperity, civility and sustainability during a tour of the province in 2014.


It is positioned to not only benefit from but also contribute to the Belt and Road Initiative, the integration of the Yangtze River Delta and coordination along the Yangtze River Economic Belt.


"We need to make sure our mind is freed to the utmost," Suzhou's Party secretary Lan Shaomin said at the conference. "It is necessary for Suzhou to further emancipate the mind, pursue further opening-up and scale new heights. The general requirement is to challenge the ultimate limit and climb the highest peak."


Wang Lianhua, head of overseas investment and operations at Hengtong International Business Group, which was founded in and is headquartered in Suzhou, agreed that attitude is key.


"Opening-up isn't only about the market, about the companies, about your activities," he said.


"It's more about the people of the world. They can learn from and exchange ideas with each other, and basically improve from all these kinds of ... exchanges. I think that's one of the things that helps humans continue to improve."


Hengtong owns 25 percent of the domestic and 15 percent of the international market share in fiber optics, and is a major international player in electricity generation and transmission.


"Being based in Suzhou, we had the advantage of being touched early by opening-up," he said.


"For the Chinese government and the Suzhou local government to accelerate opening-up again sends a kind of message not only to people living in Suzhou but also to everybody who is doing business with Suzhou natives or international people living in Suzhou," Wang said.


"We're talking with each other to send this clear message, which says opening-up is the only way to bring the people together, to work together, to think together and to create the future together."


Indeed, Suzhou's enhanced opening-up seems set to usher in a golden age in the new year, in the new decade and in the new era.


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