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Zhangjiagang offers fertile soil for innovation, entrepreneurship

( chinadaily.com.cn )

Updated: 2020-05-21

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Positioned as an important manufacturing base in southern Jiangsu province, Zhangjiagang in Suzhou, has always paid great attention to high-quality development and accelerating the replacement of old growth drivers with new ones, which have offered fertile soil for innovation and entrepreneurship.

Equipped with a solid industrial foundation, the city boasts a wide range of industries, and has five pillar industries with an annual output value of nearly 500 billion yuan ($70.5 billion): metallurgy, cotton, chemical engineering, electromechanics, and cereals and oil food. It also has strategic emerging industries in new materials, new energy and high-end equipment manufacturing, which bring annual production value of about 230 billion yuan.

The city is now home to a number of world-leading enterprises, including Spotlight Automotive Ltd., a joint venture invested in by BMW, Great Wall Motors, Tencent and DuPont.

Currently, Zhangjiagang houses more than 10,000 industrial enterprises, including over 1,000 foreign-funded firms. Fifty-six Fortune 500 companies have been self-cultivated and introduced by the city. There are 21 listed firms in the city, and five Zhangjiagang-based firms are among the Top 500 Chinese Companies, while seven are among China's Top 500 Private Companies.

The city has two national development zones: Zhangjiagang Free Trade Zone and Zhangjiagang Economic and Technological Development Zone. The free trade zone is one of the country's special economic areas with the most preferential policies, complete functions and convenient customs clearance.

In recent years, the FTZ has given priority to promoting development of industries including automobiles, equipment, fine chemical engineering and logistics, while the economic and technological development zone has focused on cultivating industries in new energy vehicles, machinery, electronic engineering, spare parts and service outsourcing.

The provincial-level Zhangjiagang High-tech Industrial Development Zone is a gathering place for strategic emerging industries, such as semiconductors, intelligent equipment, big data and artificial intelligence.

Zhangjiagang has paid much attention to innovative development. Research and development (R&D) expenditure has increased rapidly over the years, and the R&D input accounts for 2.82 percent of the city's regional GDP. The city's innovation capability ranks fourth among all the county-level cities in the country.

More than 1.5 million-square-meters of innovative platforms have been built in the city, including four characteristic industrial bases for the national torch plan, and 15 maker spaces at or above provincial level.

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