Suzhou New District (SND) is located in the west of Suzhou, Jiangsu province, with a population of 800,000, the district covers an area of 332 square kilometers, including 109 sq km of the Taihu lake area. It administers two towns (Xushuguan and Tong’an), five streets (Shishan, Fengqiao, Hengtang, Zhenhu, and Dongzhu), the Xushuguan National Economic and Technological Development Zone, Suzhou Science and Technology Town, the Western Ecological Tourism Resort and the SND Integrated Free Trade Zone.
Topographically, SND is elevated in the west and depressed in the east. It has a subtropical monsoonal climate with distinct seasons and is mild and humid all year round. Its average temperature is around 17.7 degrees centigrade.
The district enjoys convenient transportation, as it is 90 km from Shanghai Hongqiao International Airport, 130 km from Pudong International Airport, 100 km from Shanghai Port, 90 km from Zhangjiagang Port, 70 km from Taicang Port and 60 km from Changshu Port. Besides, a string of traffic channels, including the Huning (Shanghai-Nanjing) highway, State Road 312, the Suzhou round-the-city expressway, the Jinghu (Beijing-Shanghai) railway and the Beijing-Hangzhou Grand Canal, run across the district.
SND, the former “Hexi new district”, had no independent administrative area before February 1992. The district has administered six administrative villages on behalf of Hengtang town since March 1992. It has an area of 6.8 square kilometers, stretching from the Beijing-Hangzhou Grand Canal in the east to the Shizi and Heshan mountains in the west, and running from Xiangyang River in the south to Fengqiao town in the north.
In December 1992, the district was approved by the State Council as a national high-tech industrial development zone. It was officially named the Suzhou New District in 2002.
The district has witnessed soaring development since construction, becoming the key driving force of Suzhou’s economic growth, a demonstration area for self-innovation, an industrial base of high technologies and one of the most prosperous commercial areas in Suzhou. In 2017, its GDP reached 116 billion yuan ($18.46 billion). The industrial output value totaled 310.9 billion yuan and the public finance budget revenue amounted to 14.3 billion yuan. The output values of emerging industries and high-tech industries accounted for 57.1 percent and 78.5 percent of the gross industrial output value, while the added value of the service industry took up 38.7 percent of the GDP. SND now ranks 17th in the national high-tech zone list and second in the list of Jiangsu’s national high-tech districts. It also performs well in evaluations of innovation-driven development strategies.