China's FTZ favored by foreign investors

Xinhua
East China's Jiangsu Province has shown increasing appeal to foreign investors in less than half a year after it was established as a pilot free trade zone.
Xinhua

East China's Jiangsu Province has shown increasing appeal to foreign investors in less than half a year after it was established as a pilot free trade zone.

Since its founding in last September, the Suzhou area of the Jiangsu pilot FTZ has seen contracted foreign investment reach US$646 million.

Johnson & Johnson, a leading American health-care enterprise, established a branch in Jiangsu's Suzhou Industrial Park (SIP), part of the Suzhou area of Jiangsu pilot FTZ, in 2006.

"The good infrastructure, high-tech talents and abundant resources, as well as the efficient domestic and international logistic channel in the SIP, led us to settle here," said Theerayoot Aiemtheerakul, general manager of Johnson & Johnson Medical (Suzhou) Ltd.

"We are committed to serving the Chinese market better and faster. We believe the future is promising, given the advantages and opportunities the FTZ may bring," said Theerayoot Aiemtheerakul.

As a vital part of the province's pilot FTZ, the SIP is a flagship project jointly constructed by the governments of China and Singapore from 1994 in the city of Suzhou.

Japanese enterprise Transcosmos opened a base in the SIP, mainly engaging in software development. In 2019, the company registered a sales revenue of about 80 million yuan and the number is expected to climb up to 100 million yuan(US$14.5 million) by the end of 2020.

"We feel satisfied with the favorable business environment provided by the local government which has released a series of policies to ease the administrative approvals and lower our costs," said Zhang Mingliang, general manager of the Suzhou Transcosmos Information Creative Ltd.

Zhang is optimistic about the company's future in the Suzhou area of the Jiangsu pilot FTZ.

To further advance the high-level opening up, the Suzhou area of the Jiangsu pilot FTZ will set up financial funds totaling 12 billion yuan, which will provide up to 66 million yuan for newly-introduced financial institution headquarters for the use of start-up capital, office construction and talent introduction.

The move aims to bring in three corporate financial institutions and 30 functional headquarters of financial institutions, and promote the landing of 300 high-quality scientific and technological innovation projects, said Liu Xiaomei, deputy director of the SIP Administrative Committee.

China's FTZs have a proven track record in attracting foreign investment. In the first half of 2019, the country's initial 12 FTZs attracted foreign investment of nearly 70 billion yuan, accounting for 14 percent of the country's total, said Wang Shouwen, vice-minister of commerce.

In August, China announced a master plan for six new pilot free trade zones in a strategic move to press ahead with reform and opening up in the new era. Propelling innovation and development of the manufacturing industry marks one of the goals for the pilot FTZ in Jiangsu. 

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