A bird's eye-view of Suzhou New District. [Photo/WeChat account: snd-szgxqfb]
Planning for Suzhou New District (SND) started in November 1990, and 30 years on, the district has achieved quality progress and played a key role in elevating the city's biopharmaceuticals industry.
Here is what SND has undergone in three important stages.
From 1992 to 2002
SND attracted over 1,500 foreign investment projects from 1992 to 2002, 45 of which were from global 500 companies. Their total investment reached $20 billion.
SND's economic aggregate surpassed that of Suzhou 10 years ago. Its exports also accounted for 10 percent of Jiangsu province's total, and 1 percent of the national total.
From 2002 to 2012
By the end of 2012, SND had realized GDP of over 80 billion yuan ($11.88 billion). Its total industrial output value also passed 250 billion yuan, of which 52.4 percent was contributed by emerging industries.
The district, accounting for 2.5 percent of Suzhou's entire land area and having 4 percent of the city's population, has generated nearly 10 percent of Suzhou's economic aggregate.
The years also saw SND promoting closer ties between economic development and technological innovation, as a total of 70 renowned domestic research institutes and 219 high-tech companies settled in the district during the period.
SND shifted its focus from the original focus on the Grand Canal to Taihu Lake to seek more environmentally-friendly development.
Statistics show that from January to September 2020, the district gained a 1 percent increase in general public budget. Total investment on fixed assets reached 41.54 billion yuan, up 19.9 percent year-on-year. The value of foreign capital in actual use grew 61.4 percent to 856 million yuan. Other major economic indicators also ranked higher among other Suzhou-administered districts, counties and county-level cities.
A number of global 500 companies, including the US retail giant Costco, settled in SND. The district also had three companies listed on the share market and brought in 746 innovative companies.