City bids to lure German enterprises

By China Daily | China Daily Europe | Updated: 2017-06-23 09:08

Taicang is looking to attract 140 more German companies in the next five years, as the county-level city in Suzhou, in East China's Jiangsu province, tries to reinforce its role as a key center for such businesses in China, officials say.

More German companies are being encouraged to introduce their core techniques and equipment to their factories in Taicang, where the first Sino-German Youth Innovation Cooperation Entrepreneurship Week project was held in mid-June.

The project was designed to encourage business talks between Chinese and German youth and exchanges in key technology sectors.

 City bids to lure German enterprises

The launch of the Sino-German Youth Innovation Cooperation Entrepreneurship Week in Taicang, Jiangsu province, in June. Provided to China Daily

So far, Taicanghas attracted more than 260 German-funded projects worth more than 20.5 billion yuan ($3 billion; 2.69 billion euros; 2.34 billion), which have produced total revenues of about 40 billion yuan, according to Taicang Party Secretary Shen Mi.

Taicang has become so important to Sino-German relations that it was the second city in China after Beijing to be selected as a host venue for the Joint Commission Conference on Sino-German Sci-Tech Innovation Cooperation, a state-level event organized by China's Ministry of Science and Technology and Germany's Federal Ministry of Education and Research, Shen says.

In 1993, the first German company settled in the region, and during the past 24 years of development the ancient waterside town has been hailed as the hometown of German companies in China.

The Sino-German Youth Innovation Cooperation Entrepreneurship Week was a response to Premier Li Keqiang's call for boosting China-Germany innovation cooperation.

At the "China-Germany Forum: Shaping Innovation Together" held in Berlin at the beginning of this month, Li said that China supports innovation entities from both countries in forging alliances on smart manufacturing, scientific and technological innovation and vocational education.

He also said that cultural and people-to-people exchanges should be deepened by encouraging interactions between students and young scientists, implementing the intern exchange program and ensuring the success of the first youth innovation and entrepreneurship week.

As such, the Taicang event that was held from June 13 to 17 and involved different activities in Taicang, Nanjing, Changzhou and Wuxi in Jiangsu province, tried to promote dialogues between young entrepreneurs from both countries.

And with sessions including a forum, a seminar and an innovation competition, the event also pointed to the similarity between China's Made in China 2025 plan and Germany's Industry 4.0 strategy.

More than 350 youth innovators and entrepreneurs from both countries and representatives from incubators, venture capitalists and entrepreneurship service agents showed up at the opening ceremony of the project.

"Nowhere is more suitable than Taicang to host the event," says Tang Xudong, a Chinese entrepreneur and chairman of Tonggao Advanced Manufacturing Technology Co.

Tang gave up his job with a big multinational enterprise and registered his business in Taicang in 2014. His executive team consists of talented researchers and management personnel from both China and Germany.

"The superior geographical location and Taicang's advantage of gathering hundreds of German enterprises made us decide to choose of Taicang as our base," Tang says, adding that Tonggao has set up cooperations with many leading German companies, such as BMW.

Martin Gothe, 31, founder of Bremise Solutions, a business that opened a fully automated plastics injection modeling facility that incorporated in Taicang in 2016, says: "We chose Taicang because it is developing very quickly and there are a lot of progressive facilities made for foreign businesses here."

Gothe also says that the community for high-tech manufacturing is becoming very influential in Taicang, especially in partnership with German companies. Also, many big companies are moving from Shanghai to Taicang now, especially manufacturing businesses, because of the cheap rent and advanced facilities.

He Qi in Taicang contributed to this story.

(China Daily European Weekly 06/23/2017 page29)

Copyright 1995 - . All rights reserved. The content (including but not limited to text, photo, multimedia information, etc) published in this site belongs to China Daily Information Co (CDIC). Without written authorization from CDIC, such content shall not be republished or used in any form. Note: Browsers with 1024*768 or higher resolution are suggested for this site.
License for publishing multimedia online 0108263

Registration Number: 130349