Market Profiles on Chinese Cities and Provinces
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12.2008

SUZHOU CITY

Major Economic Indicators

Economic Indicators

2007

Jan - Sep 2008

Value

Growth
(%, y-o-y)

Value

Growth
(%, y-o-y)

Gross Domestic Product (RMB bn)

570.1

16.0 1

510.0

13.3 1

Per Capita GDP

91,911

14.4 1

Added Value Output
- Primary industry (RMB bn)

9.9

4.2 1

- Secondary industry (RMB bn)

363.2

15.6 1

- Tertiary industry (RMB bn)

197.0

17.5 1

Gross Industrial Output 2 (RMB bn)

1,590.9

23.3 1

1,390.5

19.7 1

Fixed-assets Investment (RMB bn)

236.6

12.3

199.4

9.0

Retail Sales (RMB bn)

125.0

18.4

111.8

24.2

Inflation (Consumer Price Index, %)

4.2

6.4

Exports (US$ bn)

118.8

25.5

87.3 3

18.4

Imports (US$ bn)

92.9

16.7

68.3 3

16.9

Utilized Foreign Direct Investment
(US$ bn)

7.2

18.0

7.5

17.2

Notes: 1 In real terms 2 For all state-owned enterprises and other forms with annual sales over RMB 5 million
3 Jan-Aug 2008
Sources: Suzhou Statistical Yearbook 2008

Background

Suzhou is the largest economy in the Jiangsu Province, accounting for 22.3% of the province's GDP in 2007. Suzhou has an area of 8,488 sq.km and population of 6.24 million at the end of 2007. The Suzhou municipality consists of five cities --- Changshu, Zhangjiagang, Kunshan, Wujiang and Taicang.

"Southern Jiangsu economic model" has been used to describe the development of three municipalities in Jiangsu --- Suzhou, Wuxi and Changzhou. The model generally referred to the economic development in the 70s and 80s with the growth of township enterprises and collective enterprises. However, the model has already been changed and Suzhou has evolved to become an externally oriented economy. Nowadays, foreign investment and international trade are playing an important role in Suzhou's economy.

Over the years in the 90s, Suzhou has adjusted its development strategy, leveraging on its state level development zones (Suzhou Industrial Park, Suzhou Hi-tech Development Zone, Zhangjiagang Bonded Zone, Kunshan Hi-tech Development Zone, Taihu State Tourist & Resort Development Zone) to attract a large amount of foreign investment and speed up the development of an externally oriented economy. Nowadays, within the driving distance of one hour between Suzhou Industrial Park and Shanghai, there is already a cluster of leading IT parts and components producers (such as TSMC, UMC, Macronix, Foxconn, GSMC, Samsung, Hitachi, Phillips) forming the so called "silicon corridor".

Suzhou is now embarking upon two major strategic directions: to build the city as the "leading destination of FDI" and the "base for new and high-tech industries".

Economic Structure

Among the gross industrial output of enterprises of designated size (annual sales above Rmb 5 million), the share of state-owned enterprises and collective-owned enterprises dropped from 59.5% in 1997 to 0.9% in 2007. The share of foreign invested companies (FIEs) increased from 46.2% in 1997 to 66.5% in 2007. Private enterprises accounted for 16.8% in 2007 while almost 0.0% in 1997.

Foreign invested enterprises are now one of the major forces of Suzhou's industrial output. In 2007, the gross industrial output of FIEs above designated size reached RMB1,057 billion, representing an increase of 67 times from 1997.

In 2007, fixed assets investment by private and sole proprietor companies reached RMB75.2 billion, increased by 11.8% and accounted for 31.8% of Suzhou's total fixed assets investment.

Industry Structure

Suzhou has the largest gross industrial output in Jiangsu province, accounting for about 29.8% of the province's total industrial output in 2007.

Composition of GDP (%)

1995

2002

2007

Primary

8.9

4.4

1.7

Second

60.2

58.2

63.7

...Industry

55.3

53.2

60.4

Tertiary

30.9

37.4

34.6

Source: Suzhou Statistical Yearbook 2008

The industrial base of Suzhou is rather broad, producing a wide range of products both in heavy and light industries. The ratio of heavy to light industries was 69% to 31% in 2007.

Although some traditional industries, such as textiles, are still playing an important role, Suzhou is transforming its industrial base from traditional industries to more high tech industries. Electronics, IT, electrical machinery, bio-technology and medicine, chemicals and household electrical appliances have now become the six pillar industries of Suzhou.

Output Share of Leading Industry Groups (2007)

% share of total
industrial output

Electronic and Telecommunications

31.2

Smelting and Pressing of Ferrous Metals

9.8

Textile industry

8.7

Electric Equipment and Machinery

7.0

Raw Chemical Materials and Chemical Products

5.8

Ordinary Machinery Manufacturing

4.6

Source: Suzhou Statistical Yearbook 2008

The gross industrial output of new and high-tech products reached RMB525 billion, accounted for 33.0% of the gross industrial output in 2007, up from 19.5% in 1997.

Suzhou has also built a number of renowned brands in consumer goods, such as Goodbaby (children's bicycle), Bosideng (garment), Chunhua (electrical appliance) and Menglan (bedding).

Tourism

Suzhou is a famous tourist destination and it accounted for 25.9% of Jiangsu's total foreign exchange income generated from tourism in 2007.

2007

% change

Number of domestic tourist (million)

48

17.1

Income generated (RMB bn)

57

21.3

Number of overseas tourist (million)

2.1

16.7

Foreign exchange income (US$ mn)

889

18.9

Source: Suzhou Statistical Yearbook 2008

Foreign trade

Suzhou is the largest export base of Jiangsu and the percentage share has continued to increase in recent years, partly reflecting the healthy industrial development and rising external orientation of Suzhou. In 2007, Suzhou accounted for 58.4% of Jiangsu's total exports, compared to 41% in 2000.

The US is the leading export market of Suzhou accounting for 25% of the city's exports in 2007. Other major markets include Japan and Hong Kong. Exports to Hong Kong reached US$11.1 billion in 2007.

Major sources of imports included Taiwan, Japan and South Korea. Imports from Hong Kong reached US$564 million in 2007.

Foreign Direct Investment

Currently, there are over ten thousand foreign enterprises operating in Suzhou. Among the world's top 500 multinational companies, 113 of them already have presence in Suzhou, and more than 30 have set up R&D centres in Suzhou.

Up to 2007, the cumulative utilised FDI reached US$43.9 billion, accounting for 30.9% of Jiangsu's total. Investments in the industrial sector accounted for 86.5% of the cumulative contracted FDI.

FDI in Suzhou

(US$ bn)

As of 1997

As of 2002

As of 2007

Cumulative contracted FDI

28.9

58.4

104.0

Cumulative utilised FDI

11.8

28.2

43.9

Source: Suzhou Statistical Yearbook 1998, 2003, 2008

There are 5 state level economic development zones and 12 provincial level development zones in Suzhou. In 2007, these development zones accounted for 82.3% and 79.5% respectively of the city's total contracted and utilised foreign investment.

The leading foreign investors are from Hong Kong, Taiwan, Singapore, the US and Japan. However, it should be noted that, many Taiwan investment have been channelled indirectly through a third places and might have been classified under Hong Kong or Virgin Islands.

Contracted FDI by Source

Cumulative as of 2007
(US$ bn)

% share

Hong Kong

23.8

22.9

Taiwan

10.9

10.5

Japan

7.4

7.1

Singapore

6.4

6.2

The US

5.7

5.5

Republic of Korea

4.5

4.3

Source: Suzhou Statistical Yearbook 2008

Consumer Market

In 2007, the total retail sales value increased by 18.4% to RMB125 billion. Annual per capita disposal income of urban households reached RMB21,260 (+14.7%).

Composition of Per Capita Expenditure of Urban Household (%)

2000

2007

Food

42.7

37.9

Clothing

7.0

8.0

Facilities, Article and Service

13.4

5.8

Medicine & Medical Services

5.6

6.3

Transportation & Communications

6.3

14.3

Recreation, Cultural & Education

13.0

15.2

Residence

7.3

9.4

Source: Suzhou Statistical Yearbook 2008

Suzhou is also a trading and distribution centre having over 500 commodity markets for both consumer goods and industrial goods. By the end of 2007, there were 60 commodity exchange markets with annual sale over RMB100 million, whose total transaction reached RMB204 billion (+56.9%).