Suzhou, formerly romanized as Soochow, is a major city located in southeastern Jiangsu Province of East China, about 100 km (62 mi) northwest of Shanghai. It is a major economic center and focal point of trade and commerce, and the largest city in the province. The city is situated on the lower reaches of the Yangtze River and the shores of Lake Tai and belongs to the Yangtze River Delta region. Administratively, Suzhou is a prefecture-level city with a population of 4.33 million in its city proper, and a total resident population (as of 2013) of 10.58 million in its administrative area. Its urban population grew at an unprecedented rate of 6.5% between 2000 and 2014, which is the highest among cities with more than 5 million people.
Founded in 514 BC, Suzhou has over 2,500 years of history, with an abundant display of relics and sites of historical interest. Around AD 100, during the Eastern Han Dynasty, it became one of the ten largest cities in the world mostly due to emigration from Northern China. Since the 10th-century Song Dynasty, it has been an important commercial center of China. During the Ming and Qing Dynasty, Suzhou was a national economic, cultural, and commercial center, as well as the largest non-capital city in the world, until the 1860 Taiping Rebellion.When Li Hongzhang and Charles George Gordon recaptured the city three years later, Shanghai had already taken its predominant place in the nation.Since major economic reforms began in 1978, Suzhou has become one of the fastest growing major cities in the world, with GDP growth rates of about 14% in the past 35 years. With high life expectancy and per capita incomes, Suzhou’s Human Development Index ratings is roughly comparable to a moderately developed country, making it one of the most highly developed and prosperous cities in China.
The city’s canals, stone bridges, pagodas, and meticulously designed gardens have contributed to its status as one of the top tourist attractions in China. The Classical Gardens of Suzhou were added to the list of the UNESCO World Heritage Sites in 1997 and 2000. Suzhou is often dubbed the “Venice of the East” or “Venice of China”
Suzhou’s economy is based primarily on its large manufacturing sector—China’s second largest—including iron and steel, IT and electronic equipment, and textile products. The city’s service sector is notably well-developed, primarily owing to tourism, which brought in a total of RMB 152 billion of revenue in 2013. Suzhou’s overall GDP exceeded RMB 1.3 trillion in 2013 (up 9.6 percent from the previous year).
The city is also one of China’s foremost destinations for foreign investment, based on its relative proximity to Shanghai and comparatively low operating costs. The municipal government has enacted various measures to encourage FDI in a number of manufacturing (e.g. pharmaceutical, electronic goods, automobile) and service (e.g. banking, logistics, research services) sectors. Included among these measures is a preferential tax policy for limited partnership venture capital enterprises in the Suzhou Industrial Park.
There are all sort of development zone over 20. One of the most developed zone of biggest manufacturing base is the Suzhou Industrial Park (SIP), which is the largest cooperative project between the Chinese and Singaporean governments. It is beside Jinji Lake, which lies to the east of the Suzhou Old City. On 26 February 1994, Vice Premier Li Lanqing and Senior Minister Lee Kuan Yew represented China and Singapore respectively in signing the Agreement to jointly develop Suzhou Industrial Park (originally called the Singapore Industrial Park). The project officially commenced on 12 May in the same year. SIP has a jurisdiction area of 288 km2, of which, the China-Singapore cooperation area covers 80 km2 with a planned residential population of 1.2 million.
SIP is home to the Suzhou Dushu Lake Science and Education Innovation District, an area of universities and higher education institutions, including Soochow University and Xi’an Jiaotong-Liverpool University
There are numerous foreign invested enterprises in Suzhou, and a fraction as below you must be very familiar. These enterprises helped to build huge supply base over the past years, trained millions of people, and raised the standards of management, technology, quality and service to real global level.
More than 10 thousand foreign invested enterprises are operating in Suzhou nowadays, such as AMD, SAMSUNG, FUJITSU, DELPHI, HONEYWELL, SCHINDLER, BLACK&DECKER, GRUNDFOS PUMPS, AMTEK PRECISION, GATES NITTA BELT, HITACHI, DORMA, EMERSON, ZF, SIEMENS, SCHNEIDER, EATON…