Forest industry firm to keep on growing

Global leader UPM says it will continue investing in Jiangsu Province to seize opportunities offered by the greening economy and e-commerce boom.
Dong Jun / SHINE

UPM, a global leader in the forest-based bioindustry, will continue its investment in Changshu, Jiangsu Province, to seek further growth as the Finnish company hopes to seize opportunities arising from China’s transformation to a green economy and its rapidly growing e-commerce.

“We have been operating here for two decades with cumulative investment exceeding US$2 billion,” Jussi Pesonen, UPM's president and chief executive officer, told a ceremony at the China International Import Expo to celebrate the company’s 20 years in China. “China is playing an increasingly strategic role in UPM’s global development growth and we will remain committed to providing the most innovative and responsible forest-based solutions to support China’s sustainable development.”

First tapping into the local market in 1998, UPM has been maintaining high single-digit growth in China over the past few years. Its current operations include a specialty papers mill, an Asia R&D center, and a label factory, all of which are in Changshu, a county-level city under the jurisdiction of Suzhou that is the perfect location to meet the company’s requirement for efficient inbound and outbound logistics, according to Pesonen.

The company will establish a new A4 copy paper liner with a capacity that will add 100 kilotons. Meanwhile, to meet new opportunities in a labeling market fueled by the e-commerce boom, UPM will invest in expanding the Changshu liner and add capacity of more than 40,000 tons of glassine paper a year from 2020.

UPM’s success in China over the past 20 years epitomizes the rapid development of multinational companies in Suzhou and Jiangsu Province, said Sun Jin, deputy head of Jiangsu's commerce department. “Due to our great location, well-established infrastructure as well as a good environment for business investment, about 380 out of the Global Fortune 500 companies have so far made investments in Jiangsu.”

So far investment of more than US$125 billion has been attracted to Suzhou, accounting for around 30 percent of the provincial total and 6.5 percent of China's. Currently Suzhou attracts around 20 percent of the total foreign investment of Jiangsu and 5 percent of the nation's a year, and there are more than 17,000 foreign-invested companies operating in Suzhou, providing 2.6 million jobs.

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