photo: CHEN WS /
Mr. Roeland Schuurman (Chief Representative)
Mr. Richard He (Deputy Representative)
This brochure will serve as a guide for companies from the Netherlands looking for a suitable
location in Jiangsu Province to establish a legal entity. The brochure provides general information about the province of Jiangsu and in more detail about its 13 municipalities. Per city
practical information is provided, to assess the city in terms of its suitability for investment.
This report has been produced in a joint effort by the Netherlands Business Support Office
Nanjing and the Consulate-General of the Netherlands in Shanghai.
I. Overview of Jiangsu Province
II. Jiangsu’s Main Industries
III. Development Zones in Jiangsu
This report is part of a series of economic overviews of important regions in China, initiated
and developed by the Netherlands Economic Network in China. For more information about
these reports, visit or contact the Netherlands Embassy in Beijing
at [email protected]
Unauthorized use, disclosure or copying without permission of the publisher is strictly prohibited. The information contained herein, including any expression of opinion, analyses, charting or tables, and statistics has been obtained from or is based upon sources believed to be
reliable but is not guaranteed as to accuracy or completeness.
IV. Cities of Jiangsu Province 12
South bank of the Yangtze River 12
Changzhou - 常州
Nanjing - 南京
Suzhou - 苏州
Wuxi - 无锡
Zhenjiang - 镇江
Middle Jiangsu
Nantong - 南通
Taizhou - 泰州 18
Yangzhou - 扬州
North bank of the Yangtze River
Huai’an - 淮安 20
Lianyungang - 连云港
Suqian - 宿迁
Xuzhou - 徐州
Yancheng - 盐城
V. References 25
Located just northwest of Shanghai, Jiangsu Province is economically the most advanced
and dynamic province in China. This brochure provides Dutch enterprises background
information when exploring the business opportunities in this province.
Three levels to choose from
The so-called first tier cities in China (Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou, Shenzhen) attract
the most foreign companies by far. Since the beginning of the 1990s, the government
has strongly stimulated these cities along the east coast of China in terms of economic
development and infrastructure. Although by no means saturated, these markets have
become very competitive and increasingly hard to penetrate, particularly for SMEs. In
recent years, this policy focused on developing the eastern part of the country has been
revised and focus is now on a more equal spread of development throughout the country.
According to the Chinese city tier system, the second tier cities in Jiangsu are Nanjing, Suzhou, Wuxi, Changzhou and Nantong, all located along the Yangtze River. The other eight
major cities in Jiangsu are third tier cities, mainly in northern Jiangsu. Besides general
information about the province as a whole, this brochure provides practical information
about each of these 13 cities.
Geography and demography
Jiangsu Province is located in the middle of the east coast of China. It borders Shanghai
and Zhejiang to the south, Anhui to the west and Shandong to the north. Jiangsu has a
coastline of over 1,000 kilometers along the Yellow Sea. The Yangtze River, the longest river of China, passes through the province in the south. The Beijing-Hangzhou
Grand Canal cuts through Jiangsu from north to south, traversing all the east-west
river systems. Jiangsu is relatively flat, with most of the province not more than 50
meters above sea level.
Jiangsu’s total surface is 102.600 km 2, about 2,75 times the Netherlands. The total
population is 78,5 million, making Jiangsu the most densely populated province in
China with an average of 771 persons per km2. Jiangsu has 13 prefecture-level cities,
which are one by one introduced further in this report. Of these cities, Nanjing is the
provincial capital.
Jiangsu has a lot to offer to foreign corporations in terms of business opportunities.
The cities have experienced rapid economic growth (around 12% since 2000), offer a
sound business climate and are investing greatly in the transformation into high-tech
and innovation-focused economies.
Second and third tier cities in an eastern province such as Jiangsu may prove to be very interesting and cost-effective for companies that are considering settlement in the vicinity
of the Shanghai logistics hub and urban facilities. As a result of the high rate of economic
development, the main Jiangsu cities have developed into serious and ambitious partners
for international business. Generally, each city has determined certain focus industries
or sectors it wants to attract, and shows increasing interest in ‘sustainable’ and ‘green’
solutions and companies.
Challenges and opportunities
There are challenges that come with doing business outside of the first tier cities. In
these cities the business climate is, compared with Shanghai, generally less adapted
to foreign business, English less spoken and the available pool of Chinese employees
with experience in Western companies smaller. However, although these challenges
exist, the potential for business in these cities is vast. With far less foreign companies
in these cities than in a city as Shanghai, the municipal governments generally offer
better conditions to potential investors. Besides lower costs (e.g. rent, wages, energy),
these cities also offer opportunities in terms of projects (architectural, innovation,
etc.). In order to attract foreign investors, local governments have become more accessible and often provide favourable tailor-made deals.
Jiangsu’s economy at a glance
Since the start of China’s economic reforms in the 1990’s, Jiangsu has been a hot spot for
economic development, and is now one of the wealthiest provinces in China with a GDP
comparable to that of Switzerland. The main reason for this success is its location in the
Yangtze River Delta, an advanced industrial region that generates around one-third of the
national GDP. Shanghai operates as the core of the Delta region and has played a crucial
role in the development of Jiangsu Province.
In 2012, Jiangsu’s GDP was 5.406 billion RMB (USD 860 billion, 10,4% of China’s total),
ranking second of all Chinese provinces, only after Guangdong. Of all provinces,
Jiangsu has the highest GDP per capita, which was 10.990 USD in 2012. Notwithstanding
China’s political economy (50% of all companies is state-owned), Jiangsu Province has a
very strong private sector. By the end of 2011 there were around 1.2 million private enterprises in the province, the largest number of private enterprises in all of China.
Jiangsu Province accounts for 1% of the total area in China, 6% of the population and 10% of the GDP
Despite the fast economic development of the province as a whole, the southern and
northern parts have experienced a remarkably unequal economic growth, resulting in
a large wealth gap between these parts. The cities Suzhou, Wuxi, Changzhou, Nanjing
and Zhenjiang in southern Jiangsu form the economic hub of the province, made possible by their strategic location in the Yangtze River Delta. As a result, these cities
have a GDP per capita of around twice the provincial average. To reduce this gap, the
provincial government is currently investing a lot of resources in northern Jiangsu
and strongly promotes establishment of foreign companies.
Importance of foreign trade and FDI
External trade and foreign direct investment (FDI) play a major role in the economy
of Jiangsu. This causes the province to be highly exposed to the global economic uncertainty of the past years. In 2011 Jiangsu accounted for almost 15% of China’s total
external trade and around 18% of the used FDI, making the province China’s largest
recipient of FDI. More than 400 companies listed in the Fortune 500 have already invested in Jiangsu.
The major export markets are the US, Japan, Hong Kong and the European Union.
In terms of its manufacturing base, the main imports are electronic and mechanical
products, high technology products, and integrated circuit and liquid crystal display
panels. The major sources for these imports were South Korea, Taiwan and Japan.
In 2011, there were around 4500 foreign-funded projects being validated in Jiangsu.
The investments are mainly related to telecommunication, computers, machinery &
equipment manufacturing, chemicals, wholesale and retail, textiles and commercial
services. Jiangsu is home to many of the world’s leading multinationals in the field
of electronic equipment, chemicals and textiles. In 2011, foreign-invested companies
contributed to 71% of the total import and export volume of Jiangsu Province.
Jiangsu has 11 class I ports, such as the ports of Lianyungang, Nanjing, Nantong, Suzhou and Zhenjiang, which in total have 128 berths for 10.000 ton vessels. The Lianyungang Port is one of the eight biggest ports in the country, while the Nanjing Port
is the biggest inland port in Asia.
Agriculture and natural resources
The province has an extensive irrigation system supporting its agriculture, which is
based primarily on rice and wheat, followed by maize and sorghum. Main cash crops include cotton, soybeans, peanuts, rapeseed, sesame, ambary hemp and tea. Other products include peppermint, spearmint, bamboo, medicinal herbs, apples, pears, peaches,
loquats and ginkgo. Silkworms also form an important part of Jiangsu’s agriculture,
with the Lake Taihu region to the south as a major base of silk production in China.
Jiangsu is also an important producer of freshwater fish and other aquatic products.
Jiangsu has coal, petroleum and natural gas deposits, but its most significant mineral
products are non-metal minerals such as halite (rock salt), sulphur, phosphorus and
marble. The salt mines of Huai’an have more than 0.4 trillion tonnes of deposits, one
of the greatest collections of deposits in China.
Economic and governmental ties between Jiangsu and the Netherlands
Of all provinces in China, Jiangsu has attracted most Dutch investments. Beginning
2013, around 130 Dutch companies had established a company or joint venture in
Jiangsu Province. They are active in a broad range of business sectors, with an emphasis on machinery, chemicals, components, microelectronics, IT, logistics, food
and textiles. The large majority of the companies are located in the cities around
the Yangtze River, mainly in Suzhou (56), Nanjing (30) and Wuxi (24). Well-known
Dutch investors in Jiangsu are Philips, Akzo-Nobel, Shell, DSM, Stork, Vopak, NXP,
Twentsche Kabel, Vopak Terminal, ARCADIS, KPMG, Randstad, Ten Cate, KeyTec, etc.
Around 30 Jiangsu companies have already set up a company in the Netherlands, which
makes it the 3rd most important destination in Europe, after Germany and the UK. The
companies cover a wide range of sectors, with some emphasis on machinery and IT.
Since 1994 the provinces Jiangsu and Noord-Brabant have a sister province relationship,
which covers governmental, cultural and economic relations. Additionally, 10 Dutch cities
have sister cities in Jiangsu Province. Close governmental relations can play an important
role in facilitating business development. This is especially the case in China, considering the
large public sector and the considerable influence of the government on private enterprises.
The current sister city relationships are: Eindhoven - Nanjing, Tilburg - Changzhou, Breda
- Yangzhou, Den Bosch - Wuxi, Leeuwarden - Liyang, Helmond - Zhenjiang, Cuijck - Jintan,
Nijmegen - Suzhou, Oss - Taizhou and Boxmeer - Xishan.
Jiangsu Province quick facts
5 main ports
Zhenjiang Port, Nanjing Port, Suzhou Port, Nantong Port and Lianyungang Port
Major export items
Electronic and mechanical products, new and high technology products, automatic data
processing machines and accessories and garments and clothing accessories
Major export markets
US, Japan, Hong Kong and the European Union
Major import items
Electronic and mechanical products, high technology products, integrated circuit and
liquid crystal display panels
Major import markets
South Korea, Taiwan and Japan
Utilized foreign direct
investment (FDI)
32.1 (USD billion)
Major indicators of Jiangsu’s regions (2011)
Southern Jiangsu(苏南)
Middle Jiangsu(苏中)
Northern Jiangsu(苏北)
GDP (RMB billion)
Retail sales (RMB billion)
Actual FDI (USD billion)
Per capita GDP (RMB)
Jiangsu is one of the birthplaces of Chinese industry, historically oriented towards light industries, such as textiles and the food industry. After 1949, the province also developed heavy
industries, such as chemical industry and construction materials. Jiangsu still has one of the
largest steel industries in China, with 100 million tons of output in 2011.
Nowadays, the province shows a very broad industrial base, having a strong position in nearly
every business sector, both nationally and internationally. Some of the most important sectors in Jiangsu are electronics, textiles, machine building, (petro)chemicals, automotive, shipbuilding, pharmaceuticals, building materials and software outsourcing. The main exports
are now in the area of electronic and mechanical products, new and high technology products,
automatic data processing machines, and garments and clothing accessories.
In recent years, Jiangsu government is strongly aiming at upgrading the existing industrial base and encouraging the developing of new industries, especially in the cities along the
Yangtze River. Low-end production is discouraged or moved to locations elsewhere in China
or Asia. As a consequence, technologically intensive industries have developed fast, especially
in emerging sectors, such as the creative industry, new energy, new materials, environmental
technology and software outsourcing. To make further development possible, Jiangsu government and companies are showing increased interest in cooperation with foreign companies.
Some examples of emerging sectors:
• The province has become the national leader in software and services outsourcing, now accounting for almost 40% of the national outsourcing contracts. At the end of 2011, outsourcing
services employed around 640,000 people in Jiangsu.
• The provincial government encourages the investment in culture, aiming to increase the
cultural industry from 3.3% of the total GDP in 2010 to 6% by 2015. In order to boost tourism
the province is improving several parks, museums and theme parks and building a strong
media industry.
• One of the main priorities in all emerging sectors is to attract and maintain highly skilled
workers and an important element in the strategy to do so is being a modern and attractive
city. For this reason, Jiangsu offers many business opportunities in the field of urban planning. As the population is experiencing an increase in wealth and western taste, the consumer
markets for luxury goods and fashion are also growing fast.
As a result of these trends, the development of industries was as follows:
Primary (agriculture)
Secondary (manufacturing)
Tertiary (services)
Figure 1. Composition of GDP (%), Source: Jiangsu Statistical Yearbook 2012.
In Jiangsu Province, development zones have become the driving forces behind the economic
growth and general development of the individual cities and province as a whole. In 2011,
these zones together contributed to 76% of foreign investment utilization and 75.6% of import
and export volume to the province.
The goals of the development zones are to increase foreign direct investment (FDI), domestic investment, international trade and technological cooperation and innovation. The zones
also increase the development of infrastructure and increase of employment. To realize these
goals, the zones have a certain degree of own authority to define preferential policies, while
most of the zones claim to provide a one-stop-service for newly establishing enterprises. Each
of the zones have a certain degree of focus on specific business sectors.
Jiangsu is the leading province in China regarding the establishment of various economic
development zones. At the end of 2012, there were 27 state level development zones and 99
provincial level zones located in Jiangsu. The difference between these levels is that the state
level zones have a higher degree of own authority and service level. The 27 state level development zones are divided into four groups: economic and technology zones, high-tech zones,
bonded zones and tourism zones.
Jiangsu Province has 16 state level Economic and Technology Zones, in the following
cities: Changshu, Huai’an, Kunshan, Lianyungang, Nanjing (three zones, including the
Chemical Industrial Park), Nantong, Suzhou (China-Singapore Suzhou Industrial Park),
Taican, Wujiang, Xishan, Xuzhou, Yancheng, Zhangjiagang, and Zhenjiang.
Jiangsu Province has 8 state level High-tech Industrial Development Zones, in the following cities: Changzhou, Jiangyin, Kunshan, Nanjing, Suzhou, Taizhou, Xuzhou, and Wuxi.
There is one bonded zone, which is Zhangjiagang Bonded Zone. In this zone high-level
logistic services and tax exemptions are available. Furthermore, there are two tourism
zones, namely Wuxi Taihu Lake National Tourism Zone and Suzhou Taihu Lake National
Tourism Zone.
Moreover, in Jiangsu there are six state level science and technology innovation bases,
which is more than in any other province in China. These bases are located in Changzhou,
Danyang, Jiangning, Kunshan, Taizhou and Wuxi.
This part of Jiangsu is by far the most developed part of Jiangsu Province, generating the majority of the province’s GDP as a result of its convenient location nearby both Shanghai and
the Yangtze River Delta. Nanjing is the capital and political center of Jiangsu, but economically
the cities Suzhou and Wuxi form the economic core of the province.
Changzhou - 常州
• Population: 4.6 million (2011)
• GDP per capita: 77,485 RMB (2011)
• Utilized FDI: 3.1 million USD
• Exports: 19.4 million USD
• Dutch companies: 7
• Dutch sister city of Changzhou: Tilburg.
Besides, 2 county level cities within Changzhou have
Dutch sister cities: Jintan–Cuijk, Liyang-Leeuwarden
• Main industries: new energy, new materials, environmental
protection, equipment manufacturing, biotechnology, IT
Changzhou offers a good alternative for economic powerhouses such as Shanghai, Suzhou,
Wuxi and Nanjing, with a more moderate price level and a welcoming government. The city
functions as a transhipment point since the construction of the Grand Canal. It has its own
airport, located in the Changzhou National High-Tech District, at a distance of 18 km from
the urban city area. Changzhou administers 5 districts (Qishuyan, Tianning, Wujin, Xinbei,
Zhonglou) and 2 county level cities (Jintan, Liyang).
Changzhou borders Zhenjiang to the west and Wuxi to the east and is located in the middle
between Nanjing and Shanghai. The city is on the south of the Yangtze River, crisscrossed by
canals, rivers and lakes.
Main business sectors
Traditionally strong sectors are textiles, mechanical manufacturing, electronics and automotive. Besides these traditional industrial sectors, more advanced sectors have been added, such
as high-tech, biotechnology, pharmaceuticals, environmental protection, new energy and advanced materials. Over the years, the agricultural revenue of Changzhou has shrunk and now
only accounts for around 6% of the city’s GDP. The industrialization of Changzhou has resulted
in severe contamination of soil and water, which is now fought by the local government by
strict regulations and large remediation projects.
Foreign investment
Changzhou is a popular destination for foreign investment, especially in the field of high-tech,
because of its technology clusters and strategic location. Currently 42 Fortune’s 500 corporations have set up businesses in Changzhou. The main development zones are the Changzhou
National High-Tech District and Wujin New & High-Tech Industrial Park.
Nanjing - 南京
Suzhou - 苏州
• Population: 8.1 million (2011)
• GDP per capita: 76,263 RMB (2011)
• Utilized FDI: 3.6 million USD
• Exports: 30.9 million USD
• Dutch companies: 30
• Dutch sister city: Eindhoven
• Main industries: electronics, metals, outsourcing services,
IT, automotive, biotechnology, petrochemical, pharmaceutical,
industrial machinery
• Population: 10.5 million (2011)
• GDP per capita: 102,129 RMB (2011)
• Utilized FDI: 9 million USD
• Exports: 167.2 million USD
• Dutch companies: 56
• Dutch sister city: Nijmegen
• Main industries: (petro)chemical, pharmaceutical, industrial
machinery, IT and textiles
As the capital of Jiangsu Province, Nanjing is located in the Yangtze River Delta, at around 270
km from Shanghai. The city is known as an important and all-inclusive industrial production
base and also as one of the most developed service industry cities in the Yangtze River Delta.
After Beijing and Shanghai, Nanjing has the largest student population of China. The city
hosts over 50 universities and colleges, many of which have top positions in Chinese rankings. Nanjing, which name refers to ”southern capital” is known for its rich history, having
been the capital during 10 Chinese Dynasties. Since 1996 Nanjing and Eindhoven have enjoyed a sister city relationship, to enhance cultural and economic cooperation.
Founded in 514 BC, Suzhou has over 2,500 years of rich history. The city’s canals, stone bridges,
pagodas and gardens have contributed to its status as one of the top tourist attractions in China.
In the last 1000 years, it has been an important centre for China’s silk industry. Suzhou is referred to as “Venice of the East”, referring to the small rivers and lakes flowing through the city.
Over the past 10 years, Suzhou’s economy has experienced the highest growth of all cities in
China, making the economy the largest in Jiangsu Province. The Suzhou prefecture includes
nearby cities Kunshan, Taicang, Changshu and Zhangjiagang. The population within the whole
administrative area is over 10 million, the highest of all cities in Jiangsu.
Geography and logistics
Nanjing is a major transportation hub in eastern China. The land transportation system consists of more than 60 highways connecting the city to all cities and towns within its municipality, other municipalities and neighbouring provinces. Besides the highways Nanjing is also
a hub for railway transportation, including high-speed rail connections with Shanghai and
Beijing. The city is served by air by the Lukou International Airport (35 km southeast of the
city), which has direct flights to Frankfurt and many Asian destinations. The Longtang Port is
the largest inland port of Asia and the largest container port along the Yangtze River. The city
has many bodies of water including small canals, lakes and rivers which are almost all linked
to the Yangtze River, providing easy access for cargo transportation.
Suzhou neighbours Shanghai to the east, Wuxi to the west and Zhejiang Province to the south.
The city is located in the southeast of Jiangsu, along the lower reaches of the Yangtze River and
on the shores of Lake Taihu.
Main business sectors
The core industries in Nanjing are electronics and electrical equipment, metals, outsourcing
services, automotive, biotechnology, petrochemical and pharmaceutical, industrial machinery and parts, IT and manufacturing. Three state owned companies account for 44% of Nanjing’s GDP, namely Panda Electronics, Jincheng Motors and Nanjing Steel.
Foreign Direct Investment
The main development zones are the national level Nanjing Economic and Technological
Development Zone, Jiangning Economic & Technological Development Zone, Nanjing HighTech Zone and Nanjing Chemical Park. Besides these zones, Nanjing has several specialised
parks for specific industries, in the field of the creative, software, logistics and services sectors. Many multinationals have established in Nanjing, such as Fiat, Iveco, A.O. Smith, Ericsson, LG, Sharp, DSM, BASF, Bosch and Siemens. Within the Yangtze River Delta, Nanjing is
very competitive in the field of attracting foreign investment, but still falls behind the more
innovative cities Suzhou and Wuxi.
Main business sectors
Suzhou’s strategic location close to Shanghai and along the Yangtze River has facilitated the
city to develop into one of China’s leaders in foreign trade and investment. While in Suzhou
the operating costs are lower than in Shanghai, operations can still be managed from Shanghai.
The main industries in Suzhou are chemical and pharmaceutical, industrial machinery and
parts, IT, communications, petrochemical and textiles. Suzhou is aiming to lead the way in transforming from low-end services to high-end service outsourcing. One major advantage to realize
this shift is the highly skilled workforce in the city due to the establishment of 20 universities.
Foreign Direct Investment
Foreign investors can benefit from the professional business climate and convenient location,
but these factors have sharply increased the costs of setting up business. Moreover, the local
government is gradually becoming more selective in which businesses are allowed to set up.
In the eastern outskirts of Suzhou, in 1994 the China-Singapore Suzhou Industrial Park (SIP)
was established, a flagship of Sino-Singaporean cooperation and the only industrial park in
China that is entirely the investment of one single foreign country. The total area is 288 km2,
which is now almost fully occupied. During the last decade, SIP has realised an annual growth
rate of around 30%. By now, almost 5,000 foreign companies have settled down in SIP, among
which 170 Fortune 500 enterprises. The national and municipal government are in the process
to upgrade SIP, focussing on R&D in new technologies and moving the more traditional sectors
to other cities.
Besides SIP, there are 9 other national level development zones established in Suzhou prefecture, such as the Suzhou National New & High-Tech Industrial Development Zone.
Wuxi - 无锡
Zhenjiang - 镇江
• Population: 6.4 million (2011)
• GDP per capita: 107,437 RMB (2011)
• Utilized FDI: 3.5 million USD
• Exports: 42.3 million USD
• Dutch companies: 24
• Dutch sister city: Den Bosch. A district within Wuxi has a Dutch
sister city as well: Xishan-Boxmeer
• Main industries: textiles, new energy, new materials,
environmental protection, water technology, micro-technology,
IT, biotechnology, industrial design, creative industry
• Population: 3.1 million (2011)
• GDP per capita: 73,981 RMB (2011)
• Utilized FDI: 1.8 million USD
• Exports: 5.6 million USD
• Dutch companies: 0
• Dutch sister city: Helmond
• Main industries: chemicals, automotive,
electro-mechanical, high-tech, biotechnoogy,
new materials
During the Ming and Qing dynasties, Wuxi became an agricultural centre for the national
rice market. In constant development, Wuxi became a hub for the textile industry. Nowadays, Wuxi has a thriving economy, with a GDP ranking 9th among China’s 956 major cities,
even exceeding the GDP of provincial capital Nanjing. Wuxi’s GDP per capita is the highest in
Jiangsu, resulting in an interesting consumer market. Wuxi jurisdiction includes 7 districts
(Binhu, Beitang, Chong’an, Huishan, Nanchang, Wuxi, Xishan) and 2 county level cities (Jiangyin, Yixing).
Being the smallest city in Jiangsu Province (both in terms of population and of surface), Zhenjiang has one of the fastest growing economies in the Yangtze River Delta region. The city
is an important transportation hub, owing to its strategic location at the intersection of the
Yangtze River and the Grand Canal. Zhenjiang Port is one of the major ports along the Yangtze
River. Zhenjiang is conveniently located along the high-speed railway Shanghai-Nanjing-Beijing, at only 1 hour from Shanghai by train. Zhenjiang jurisdiction includes 3 districts (Dantu,
Jinkou, Runzhou) and 3 county level cities (Danyang, Jurong, Yangzhong).
Wuxi is a city in the south of Jiangsu Province and is split in half by Lake Taihu. It borders
Changzhou to the west and Suzhou to the east. The city is layered with small old canals, rivers and lakes. The water takes up around 30% of the city’s total area. The driving distance to
Shanghai is 128 km and to Nanjing 183 km. Wuxi Shuofang Airport is located 12 km southeast
of Wuxi and 22 km northwest of Suzhou.
Zhenjiang is located on the southern bank of the Yangtze River, bordering Nanjing on the
west, Changzhou to the east and it faces Yangzhou across the Yangtze River. Water is a major
natural resource for Zhenjiang, as the city includes more than 60 rivers and canals with a total
length of 700 km. Both the Yangtze River and the Grand Canal are flowing through Zhenjiang.
Other natural resources available in Zhenjiang are minerals like copper, iron, zinc, lead and
Main business sectors
In the past centuries, Wuxi became a hub for the textile industry, but in the last decades several new industries have developed, namely micro-electronics and IT, automobile manufacturing, high-end textiles and garments, bio-pharmaceuticals, environmental/water technology,
new materials, new energy (esp. solar energy), industrial design and creative industry.
Foreign Direct Investment
Despite Wuxi’s highly developed business infrastructure, the local authorities are still relatively cooperative to newcomers. The human resource costs are 40% lower than in Shanghai
and also the urban living costs are markedly lower. At this time Wuxi has over 7,000 foreign
funded enterprises, and aims at further strengthening international exchanges and cooperation. The main development zones in Wuxi are Wuxi New District, Xishan Economic and Technological Development Area and Jiangyin New and High-Tech Industrial Development Zone.
For the coming 5 years, Wuxi is focusing on innovation and upgrading its development zones.
The hopes are that by lifting the level of innovation, concentration and services, the development zones are transformed into leading areas of technological innovation, concentration areas of emerging industries and demonstration areas of intensive development. Wuxi is looking to transform itself into an “Orient Silicon Valley” by providing businesses with a start up
capital to attract highly educated Chinese people from overseas back to Wuxi.
Main business sectors
Industrial sectors in Zhenjiang occupy 60% of the city’s GDP, strongly supported by the availability of Zhenjiang Port. The sectors are in good shape and have been expanding with 15-20%
annually in the last 10 years. The major industrial sectors are chemicals, paper production,
automotive, electro-mechanics, high-tech, bio-technology, construction and new materials.
In 2013, the municipal government defined the following sectors as emerging sectors: new
building materials, high-end equipment manufacturing, new energy, aerospace, ICT and biomedicine. The agricultural sector only generates around 4% of the city’s total GDP and consists
of mostly rice, wheat, cotton and fruits.
Foreign Direct Investment
The main location for foreign investment is the Zhenjiang New Area, which mainly consists
of the state level Zhenjiang Economic and Technological Development Zone. This zone covers 218 km2 and includes the Zhenjiang Export Processing Zone. The major industries in this
zone are new energy, new materials, aerospace and software outsourcing. A considerable
number of large international enterprises have set up production facilities in Zhenjiang New
Area, such as Total, Rhodia Group, BASF, FIAT, Cargill and Mitsubishi. Besides New Area, each
of the 6 districts and cities has its own provincial-level development zone, with its own sectorial focus.
Taizhou - 泰州
Although still lagging behind the economic success of the cities on the south bank, the 3 cities
located on the north bank of the Yangtze River are very ambitious to benefit from their strategic location. With the cities on the south bank becoming increasingly expensive, the north bank
could be a very good alternative.
• Population: 4.6 million (2011)
• GDP per capita: 52,396 RMB (2011)
• Utilized FDI: 1.4 million USD
• Exports: 7.5 million USD
• Dutch companies: 2
• Dutch sister city: Oss
• Main industries: pharmaceutical, biomedical, biochemical
and bio-tech enterprises, agriculture, mechanical, electrical
manufacture, food manufacture and textiles
Nantong - 南通
• Population: 7.3 million (2011)
• GDP per capita: 56,005 RMB (2011)
• Utilized FDI: 2.2 million USD
• Exports: 18 million USD
• Dutch companies: 3
• Dutch sister city: Drechtsteden (Dordrecht, Alblasserdam,
Hendrik-Ido-Ambacht, Papendrecht, Sliedrecht, Zwijndrecht)
• Main industries: logistics, textiles, shipbuilding, fishing,
construction, new energy, bio-medicine, software outsourcing
In the 1990’s, Nantong was one of the 14 coastal cities permitted to engage in international
trade, and for this reason it has a reputation as “the first window on the Yangtze River”. In
recent years, its economic growth and foreign investments have exceeded all other cities in
the Yangtze Economic Zone.
Nantong is situated on the northern bank of the Yangtze River, facing Shanghai across the
river. The city’s rapid economic growth is attributed to this advantageous location, especially
since the completion of two bridges across the Yangtze River in 2009 cut back travelling time
to Shanghai to only one hour.
The city has a coastline of more than 400 km along the East China Sea, a riverbank of 164 km
along the Yangtze River and large wetlands and beaches. Beside the rivers and marine area,
the main natural resources include crude oil, natural gas, coal and marble.
Main business sectors
Nantong was traditionally an industrial city, specializing in salt and cotton textile production.
Nowadays the city serves as an important transportation hub, with Nantong Port being one of
the 10 largest ports in China. Especially for Hong Kong, Japan and South Korea it functions as
a major container port. Related to the port, Nantong’s shipbuilding sector is one of the largest
in China, with shipyards of giants as COSCO, Rongsheng, Yahua and Daoda. Due to oversupply
and the economic downturn in recent years, this sector is currently facing hard times. Other
emerging business sectors in Nantong are fishing, textiles, construction, bio-medicine, new
energy and software outsourcing. The city is increasingly focussing on wind power energy,
with large wind power parks being built in the sea.
Foreign Direct Investment
Nantong has become a major destination for domestic and foreign investment due to its excellent geographical location, making the city one of the fastest growing in China. The main
area for foreign investment is the Nantong Economic and Technological Development Zone,
which includes the Nanjing Export Processing Zone, and the Nantong High-Tech Industrial
Development Zone.
Taizhou has a rich history and is the hometown of many famous Chinese people, such as the
former Chinese President Hu Jintao. In the past years the city has moved towards industrialization. Incoming investments and capital funds have allowed for great improvements in
financial capability and to newly emerging industrial sectors. As a result of the new Jiangyin
Yangtze River Highway Bridge in 1999 and two new railways, Taizhou is now well connected
to the economically booming south of Jiangsu. This improvement in infrastructure also helps
to attract new investors to the north of the city. Taizhou Prefecture administers 3 districts
(Hailing, Gaogang, Jiangyan) and 3 county level cities (Taixing, Jingjiang, Xinghua).
Taizhou is a city located on the north bank of the Yangtze River, bordering Nantong to the
east, Yancheng to the north and Yangzhou to the west. The cities Taizhou and Yangzhou have
a combined airport (Yangtai Airport), at 20 km west of the Taizhou city centre.
Main business sectors
Traditionally Taizhou was one of the main farming grounds for Jiangsu, as a result of its favourable climate. Related to agriculture, a number of business sectors have developed, such
as flourmills, textile works, wood processing, fishing net manufacturing and food processing. Besides these sectors, the main sectors in Taizhou include pharmaceuticals, mechanical
and electrical manufacturing, IT and textiles. Worth mentioning are also the large wallpaper
industry, which accounts for 30% of Chinese production, the violin production in Taixing accounting for 20% of the world production, and the large stainless steel industry, concentrated
in Xinghua. In total the industrial sector accounts for over 60% of the city’s GDP.
Taizhou is well known for its China’s Medical City (CMC), China’s only national level medical
high-tech industrial development zone (, encouraged by former resident
Chinese President Hu Jintao. CMC integrates the entire value chain, such as R&D facilities,
manufacturing, exhibition and trade, health care demonstration and education. The establishment of CMC has been the primary reason for the city of Oss to establish friendship relations
with Taizhou.
Foreign Direct Investment
After the opening of CMC in 2006, Taizhou has attracted major international and domestic
enterprises in the fields of pharmaceuticals, bio-medical, bio-chemical and bio-tech, and there
are also many pioneer projects such as stem cell research, to set up their subsidiaries and
facilities. Besides CMC, another major zone for investment is the area around the Class A
Taizhou Port, especially for the chemical industry.
Yangzhou - 扬州
• Population: 4.5 million (2011)
• GDP per capita: 58,950 RMB (2011)
• Utilized FDI: 2.1 million USD
• Exports: 7.3 million USD
• Dutch companies: 8
• Dutch sister city: Breda. County-level city
Gaoyou is the sister city of Terneuzen
• Main industries: machinery, automotive, shipbuilding,
(petro)chemical, IT, new materials, biotechnology
Traditionally northern Jiangsu consisted mainly of farmland as its fertile soil, abundant water
resources and moderate rainfall make it one of China’s main agricultural areas. The products
produced included rice, cotton, vegetables and poultry. Other natural resources available are
crude oil, natural gas and aquatic products in the coastal areas. Over the years the area has been
developing its industrial sector as a result of the large growth from the cities in the south of the
province and strong support from the provincial and national government.
Yangzhou has a history of over 2,500 years, and it is the city where Marco Polo once served
as a municipal official. Around 1800 AD, Yangzhou was one of the ten cities in the world with
a population of over half a million. Until the 19th century, Yangzhou was a major national,
political and financial trade centre and a transportation hub as a result of its location at the
junction of the Yangtze, the Hangzou-Beijing Grand Canal and the Huaihe River. This historical period has left the city with a large number of historical sights, artefacts and traditions.
Despite this rich history, Yangzhou is now struggling to keep pace with the other cities along
the Yangtze River.
Yangzhou is located in the middle of Jiangsu Province, and runs 80 km along the northern
bank of the Yangtze River. The Grand Canal flows through Yangzhou from north to south and
merges with the Yangtze River in the south. There are four major lakes located in Yangzhou,
the Beima, Baiying, Gaoyou and Shaobai lakes, which serve as the most important water resources for the region. Other natural resources in Yangzhou include crude oil, coal, natural
gas, hot springs and minerals.
The city shares an airport with Taizhou (Yangtai Airport), at 20 km east from the Yangzhou
city centre. Yangzhou can be reached from Nanjing by both train and car in approximately
one hour.
Main business sectors
Due to the importance of waterways as a mean of transportation during the Ming and Qing
dynasties, Yangzhou has been an economic and business trade hub in China for many centuries. However, with the introduction of railways and highways its significance has shrunk.
Yangzhou Port is located at the junction of the Yangtze River and the Grand Canal. The port
is the main distribution centre for northern Jiangsu, eastern Anhui and southeast Shandong,
and has greatly promoted the development of exports and the overall local economy.
The main industries in Yangzhou are machinery, automotive, shipbuilding and (petro)chemistry. In recent years, the local government has encouraged three new sectors: IT, new materials
and biotechnology. The tourism industry is of great importance for Yangzhou, with over ten
million tourists visiting the city annually.
Foreign Direct Investment
The main location for foreign investment is the Yangzhou Economic and Technological Development Zone, which was opened in 1992 and now covers 120 km2. The main business sectors
in this zone are electronic information, photovoltaic, auto parts, port logistics, smart grid and
Huai’an - 淮安
• Population: 4.8 million (2011)
• GDP per capita: 35,181 RMB (2011)
• Utilized FDI: 1.6 million USD
• Exports: 1.8 million USD
• Dutch companies: 0
• Main developing industries: chemical, mechanical,
textile, bio-technology
Huai’an is located on the Northern Jiangsu Plain, bordering Anhui Province to the southwest,
Yangzhou to the southeast, Suqian to the west, Liangyungang to the north and Yangcheng
to the northeast. The former Chinese Premier Zhou Enlai was born in Huai’an and spent the
first 12 years of his life here. Nowadays, the city is strongly promoted by the provincial government, which is showed by the appointment of strong leaders as the party secretary and
mayor. The prefecture-level city of Huai’an administers 4 districts (Qinghe, Huai’yin, Huai’an,
Qingpu) and 4 county level cities (Yinhu, Xuyi, Hongze, Lianshui). The distance to Nanjing
is approximately two hours when travelling by car and four hours to Shanghai. 22 km from
central Huai’an is the Huai’an Lianshui Airport.
Natural resources
The city is known for its two major freshwater lakes, Hongze Lake and Baima Lake. Hongze
Lake is the fourth largest fresh water lake of China, occupying an area of 2069 km2. Besides
the two lakes, Huai’an has four rivers: the Grand Canal, Huaihe, Yanhe and Huaishu rivers.
These water resources have led to a highly developed irrigation and water transportation
system. Other natural resources available are rock salt, crude oil and natural gas.
Main business sectors
The industrial sector is in the process of rapid expansion, which is strongly supported by the
provincial government. As a result of the improved transportation system, the city has been
able to attract more national and international investors, consequently improving the economic position of the city. Huai’an is currently developing its chemical, mechanical, textile
and bio-technology industries. Another focus area is environmental protection, as the municipal government has drafted a protection plan for its lakes and rivers to reduce contaminations
from chemical factories and agriculture. The industrial income now occupies more than half
of the city’s GDP. The main development zone is the State level Huai’an Economic and Technological Development Zone.
Lianyungang - 连云港
Suqian - 宿迁
• Population: 4.4 million (2011)
• GDP per capita: 32,119 RMB (2011)
• Utilized FDI: 610 million USD
• Exports: 3.7 million USD
• Dutch companies: 2
• Main developing industries: pharmaceutics,
new materials, new energy, high-end equipment
manufacturing, IT, maritime, petrochemical,
metallurgy, tourism
• Population: 4.8 million (2011)
• GDP per capita: 27,839 RMB (2011)
• Utilized FDI: 190 million USD
• Exports: 1.7 million USD
• Dutch companies: 1
• Main developing industries: food and spirit
manufacturing, textiles, construction, electronics,
chemicals and machinery
Lianyungang is located in the northeast of Jiangsu, on the shore of the East China Sea. It has a
coastline of 162 km, 100,000 hectares of wetlands and many sea beaches. It borders Shandong
province to the west and the cities of Huai’an, Suqian and Yancheng to the south. The water
surface takes up one fourth of the city’s total surface. The city governs 3 districts (Xinpu,
Lianyun, Haizhou) and 4 counties (Ganyu, Donghai, Guanyun, Guannan), while the city’s government is located in Xinpu District. The most important natural resources for Lianyungang
are water resources: freshwater lakes, rivers, wetlands, marine area and beaches.
Suqian is a city located on the northern plain of Jiangsu and was recognised as a prefecture
city in 1996. It now consists of 2 districts (Suyu, Sucheng) and 3 county level cities (Shuyang,
Sihong, Siyang). The city is relatively flat, with an elevation of 3 to 71 meter above sea level.
The nearest airport is Xuzhou Guanyin Airport, at 60 km distance.
Lianyungang is a one of the major transportation hubs in China. It was one of the 4 original
ports opening up for foreign trade in the 1680s by the Qing Dynasty. Nowadays, its seaport is
one of the 8 major ports of China, providing good access for the transport of goods and bulk
materials between overseas and the hinterland. Both Japan and South Korea can be reached
easily by sea. Furthermore, it is the starting point of the Longhai Railway that stretches all the
way to Urumqi in the far north west of China, continuing into Russia and Europe, and coming
to a stop in Rotterdam. The Chinese national government intends to build an economic belt
along this railway, which is called the New Eurasian Continental Bridge. Lianyungang has its
own airport.
Main business sectors
Because of its fertile soil and moderate rainfall, the city is one of Jiangsu’s richest agricultural
areas. Nowadays the city is trying to invest in green agriculture, organic food and tree plantations. However, the agricultural income is gradually being replaced by the industrial sectors.
The economy has expanded rapidly as a result of the growth of the logistic sector, the establishment of new development zones and several large investments. The main new industrial
sectors are pharmaceutics, new materials and new energy. The city has a reputation for being
the largest pharmaceutical manufacturer for anti-cancer and anti-hepatitis drugs.
Foreign Direct Investment
End 2012, 2,845 foreign companies were registered in Lianyungang. The main development
zone is the national level Lianyungang Economic and Technological Development Zone (1984),
including the Lianyungang Export Processing Zone. Other areas are Xuwei New Area, Lianyun New City, Xinhai New Area and a number of industrial parks, which are specialised in
specific industrial sectors. Foreigners are, despite the economic progress, still a rare sight in
Natural resources
Suqian has a wide range of natural resources, such as rock salt, crude oil and natural gas,
and minerals like quartz, phosphorus, copper and iron. Furthermore, it has abundant water
resources, as the water surface is around one third of its total land mass. Suqian has two fresh
water lakes, Lake Hongze and Lake Luoma. Besides the lakes, there are four rivers that run
through the city: the Grand Canal, the Huaihe River, Yihe River and the Suhe River.
Main business sectors
Due to its water resources, Suqian has a reputation for its aquatic products, including crab,
shrimp, silver fish and aquatic vegetables. The agricultural sector, which mainly consists of
grain, cotton, oil crops, timber and flowers, accounts for 25% of the city’s total GDP. The city
tries to boost the sustainable development of its agricultural and forest sectors. Besides, Suqian is known for its manufacturing of alcoholic beverages, which dates back to the Ming
Dynasty around 500 years ago. Well-known brands are Yanghe and Shuanggou.
In recent years, the provincial and municipal governments are strongly supporting the development of Suqian’s industrial base. Investment and capital funds have accelerated the city’s
economic expansion and urbanization, which have lead to a construction boom in the outskirts of Suqian city. A number of industrial sectors are developing, which include food and
spirit manufacturing, textiles, construction, electronic, chemicals and machinery.
Foreign Direct Investment
The level of foreign direct investment in Suqian is still relatively low. The main development
zones are the Suqian Economic Development Zone (1998) and the Suzhou-Suqian Development Zone (2006). In addition, each district and county has its own development zone. For
now the large majority of established companies are relatively traditional, labour intensive,
Chinese companies.
Xuzhou - 徐州
Yancheng - 盐城
• Population: 8.6 million (2011)
• GDP per capita: 41,407 RMB (2011)
• Utilized FDI: 1.5 million USD
• Exports: 4.2 million USD
• Dutch companies: 1
• Main developing industries: construction
machinery, new energy, logistics, and food
production and processing
• Population: 7.2 million (2011)
• GDP per capita: 38,222 RMB (2011)
• Utilized FDI: 1.7 million USD
• Exports: 3 million USD
• Dutch companies: 1
• Main developing industries: agriculture, fishery,
textiles, automotive, machinery, water conservation
Xuzhou is known for being the main battlefield in China’s history, with over 200 major battles
that have taken place on its land. Despite these combats, Xuzhou remained relatively intact and
has a large number of historical attractions and scenic spots. Nowadays, Xuzhou has the 2nd
largest registered population in Jiangsu (after Suzhou) and the 2nd largest area (after Yancheng).
The name of this city means “Salt City” in Mandarin, referring to its sea salt production and
salt harvest fields that surround the city, tracking back to 119 B.C. The city is located on the
flat coastal plain of Eastern Jiangsu, along the China Yellow Sea. It is the largest city in Jiangsu
in terms of land area and has the longest coastal line in Jiangsu (almost 600 km). It borders
Lianyungang in the north, Huai’an and Yangzhou in the west, and Taizhou and Nantong in the
south. The city administers 2 districts (Tinghu, Yandu), 2 county level cities (Dongtai, Dafeng)
and 5 counties (Xiangshui, Binhai, Funing, Jianhu, Sheyang). Yancheng airport offers flights to
the major cities in China.
Water is abundant in Xuzhou, with more than 213 rivers flowing in the area, including the Beijing-Hangzhou Grand Canal, and two major lakes. Other important natural resources are coal, of
which Xuzhou produces 2.5 million ton annually, and marble, lime and salt.
The city is situated in the upper north-western corner of Jiangsu, bordering Anhui and Shandong, and midway between Beijing and Shanghai (around 600 km to both). As one of China’s
most well known transportation hubs, Xuzhou has an economically strategic location. China’s
two most important railway lines meet in Xuzhou: the high-speed railway Beijing-Shanghai,
running from north to south, and Lianyungang-Europe, running east to west. By air Xuzhou is
served by the Xuzhou Guanyin Airport.
Xuzhou is the economic engine and the largest city of the Huaihai Economic Region, in which
over 30 cities in the provinces Jiangsu, Shandong, Henan and Anhui cooperate. Furthermore,
Xuzhou is a member of the Yangtze Delta Economic Region, which connects it with southern
Jiangsu, Shanghai and Zhejiang Province.
Main business sectors
In the past, the agricultural income occupied a major portion of the city’s economy, but over the
years this has shrunk to only 3% of the city’s GDP. Now the city is trying to increase its green agriculture and organic food and tree plantation efforts. In the last decades, Xuzhou has developed
into the “Capital of Construction Machinery”, lead by Xuzhou Construction Machinery Group.
Other fast growing economic sectors are new energy, logistics and food processing. As a result
of the improvements in their industrial infrastructure, the city’s industrial GDP experienced a
growth of 14-17% per year in the past five years.
Natural resources
Yancheng has relatively a well-protected coastline and abundant water resources. The areas,
which are not cultivated are mainly marshlands. The coastal waters provide the city with a lot
of fish, while the marshlands offer Yancheng two nature reserves of national prestige. Furthermore, the natural resources of Yancheng include crude oil and natural gas.
Main business sectors
Yancheng’s economy historically relies heavily on agriculture and fishery. Some of the major
agricultural products are cotton, garlic, oil plants, silkworm fruits, fowl and eggs. Recently the
automotive industry was added, as a result of a joint venture between multinational auto giant
Kia Motors and Dongfeng Automotive Group, with the establishment of a factory. As a result
of the booming economy, environmental contamination and air pollution are the next focus of
the municipality. Substantial funds have been spent to protect the eco-system and a strict eye
is kept on potential polluters.
Foreign Direct Investment
So far the number of foreign investments in Yancheng is relatively low. The main development
zone in Yangcheng for foreign companies is the national level Yancheng Economic and Technical
Development Zone (1992), including the Yancheng Export Processing Area. This development
zone is mainly focused on automotive, photovoltaic, machinery and textiles. Furthermore, each
city and county has its own provincial level development zone.
Industrialization and the use of coal as fuel have led to high levels of pollution in the city, in
terms of air, water and soil. As a result the municipal government has introduced strict environmental policies and has spent significant funds over the years to protect the environment.
Foreign Direct Investment
The main location for foreign investment is the national level Xuzhou Economic and Technological Development Zone (1992). Over 2000 enterprises have established in this zone, of which
around 500 foreign.
General information about Jiangsu Province can be found on:
Information about the 13 cities in Jiangsu Province can be found on:
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