Xuzhou – not Suzhou, is the new destination of the economic mission this year organized by the Swiss General Consulate and SwissCham Shanghai. About 15 Swiss companies from various industries joined this mission. Examples of Swiss companies are Oerlikon, Swiss Re, Panalpina, Swissnex China, etc.
Xuzhou government warmly welcomed the Swiss Delegation. The delegation had meeting with the Party Secretary of Xuzhou, Mr. CAO Xinping and many other government officials. Mr. Cao introduced the history of Xuzhou city and the current development of the city. He stressed the focuses of Xuzhou’s development strategies: further development and renovation of the city infrastructure, improve ecological environment by increasing the forest coverage. Mr. Cao expressed the will to gain more attention from the Swiss industry and to establish more collaboration between Xuzhou’s local enterprises and the Swiss companies. In name of the whole delegation, Mr. Schellenberg extended the deepest thanks to the government support for this mission. He recalled the first visit in Xuzhou in March this year, and was impressed by the latest development in the last months in Xuzhou.
During the stay, the Swiss delegation visited XCMG, the world top 5 construction machinery company and Nhwa pharmaceutical company, the first listed pharmaceutical company from Xuzhou. The company visit was followed by interesting discussions with the local companies from Xuzhou Development Zone and Xuzhou High-tech Zone. The discussions provided the companies from both sides to find out the common interest and the complimentary strength. The participants of the delegation did not only get to know the fascinated history about Xuzhou City, but were also very impressed by the current development of Xuzhou. Swiss companies showed strong interest to strengthen the collaboration with local companies in Xuzhou. The local industry also had very open attitude the work together with the Swiss companies, not only in the traditional industries, but also in the field of biomedical technology, IT, safety industry, fine machinery, etc. They would like to talk about not only foreign investment but also joint R&D projects. China University of Mining and Technology, a high-level university located in Xuzhou, showed great interest to have contact to Swiss universities and establish collaboration with the Swiss industrial and academic partners.
The feedback of this mission was very positive. The participants of the Swiss Delegation appeal for the regular economic missions in this form.
What actually makes this city so interesting for so many Swiss companies?
Xuzhou is the largest city in northern part of Jiangsu Province. It has been a city of great military importance in the history. And it is the birthplace of the first emperor of Han Dynasty (Liu Bang, 256-195BC). Xuzhou has a population of 9.9 Mio and a total area of 11,259 km2. For the past three years, the city reported the fastest growth rate in Jiangsu. In 2012, its GDP reached RMB 402 billion with an increase of 13.2%. Xuzhou has the world largest Solar Polysilicon Research and Production Base and China’s largest construction machinery research and production base. XCMG ranked top 5 in 2012 among world’s construction companies.
The major reasons for Xuzhou to attract foreign companies are summarized below:
1. Xuzhou has very convenient transportation networks. With the high-speed train Xuzhou can be reached from Shanghai and Beijing in 2.5 hours. Next year, Xi’an is also reachable in 2.5 hours from Xuzhou. International airport and water transportation are also available.
2. With its long tradition to be on the top list in China in terms of construction machinery, the city provides a lot of experienced technical human resources and technical expertise in this field.
3. Compared to other cities in the Yangtze Delta, labor cost in Xuzhou is relatively low.