1. Advantageous location. Suzhou is located at the junctures of Shanghai City, Jiangsu Province and Zhejiang Province, whose urban area borders Shanghai. It boasts superb geographic location, where expressways, high-speed railways, Suzhou-Nantong Bridge, rail transits, city viaducts and other modes of transportation have woven a developed transportation network. Suzhou neighbors the international airports of Hongqiao, Pudong, Shuofang of Southern Jiangsu, Lukou and Xiaoshan, contributing to its convenience of air traffic. Moreover, Suzhou Airport has already been under research and design. Suzhou borders rivers and is near to the sea. The three ports of Zhangjiagang, Changshu and Taicang are in the charge of Suzhou Port, rendering it one of the most important ports in the coastal areas of China and the significant pivot of “Maritime Silk Road of the 21st century”. Starting from Suzhou, various international through block trains, such as “Suzhou-Manzhouli-Europe”, “Suzhou-Xinjiang-Central Asia” and “Suzhou-Manzhouli-Russia” through block trains, are significant players in the international transport corridor of “Silk Road Economic Belt”.
2. Solid industrial foundation. Traditional industrial clusters, such as machinery and equipment manufacturing and telecommunications, gather in Suzhou. Emerging industries, such as industries of new energy, new materials, bio-medicine, energy conservation and environment protection, new head up displays, high-end equipment manufacturing, software and service outsourcing, smart power grids, Internet of Things, are developing rapidly. Modern service sectors, such as research and development and design, supply chain management, modern commerce and trade, medical care, educational training, development of creative cultural ideas , tourism and leisure, financial industry, are making leapfrogging progress.
3. Livable ecological environment. Suzhou is situated at temperate zone, featuring mild climate, flat terrain, fertile land, rich resources and beautiful and livable environment. In 2015, the percentage for the number of days reaching eligible air quality across the city reached 68.2% as per the standard of Air Quality Index. The annual average concentration of PM2.5 in urban areas reduced by 12.1%. Water qualification rate of centralized drinking water sources was 100%. The average equivalent sound level of regional environmental noises ranged from 53.2db to 58.9db and the quality of regional environment of sound was relatively good on the whole. The forest coverage ratio on the land was 29.56%. The park green space per person of urban built-up areas covered 14.99m2 and the green coverage ratio reached 42.7%.
4. Favorable environment of openness. Developed openness-oriented economy is the shiniest calling card of Suzhou. It is openness that has propped up Suzhou’s economy, invigorated Suzhou’s mind, expanded the development path of Suzhou, enriched Suzhou culture and improved Suzhou’s environment. The favorable environment of openness has won the favor of investors at home and abroad even more. By the end of December, 2015, 127 countries (regions) in total had invested over 16 thousand enterprises in Suzhou, among which 148 world’s top 500 companies had invested over 400 projects in Suzhou by accumulation. The actual use of foreign capital was more than 110 billion USD. All of these performances rewarded Suzhou with the leading position among the large and medium-sized cities across the country.
5. Efficient pro-business service. Suzhou has taken the lead in establishing relatively sound management system of market economy across the nation and been committed to building up a government of “honesty, pragmatism, efficiency, pro-business and innovation” and pushing forward the construction of a service-oriented government. For many years, the relatively sound supporting service system has come into being in attracting investment and serving business.
6. Profound and long-standing culture. Suzhou boasts long historical and cultural tradition, developed modern education and pleasant and livable environment. The whole city is abundant in human resources. By the end of 2015, manpower totaled 2.27 million persons, among whom high-level talents amounted to 178 thousand, highly skilled manpower covered 492 thousand and various professionals reached 1.485million. The number of “the Recruitment Program of Global Experts” totaled 187 persons, which could satisfy the need of various professionals by business. Since 2008, Suzhou had been awarded the title of “National Civilized City” for three times in a row. Sample surveys showed that the average reading amount of paper books for Suzhou citizens aging from 18 to 70 reached 5.58 with 17% higher than the national average and of e-books reached 3.62 with 46% above the national average.
7. Multi-layered platforms. Suzhou is at the core of pilot areas of independent innovation and modernization drive in Southern Jiangsu province approved by the State Council, which has a batch of comprehensive test platforms satisfying national standards, such as the Pilot for Innovative Development of Trade in Services, China(Suzhou) Comprehensive Pilot Area for Cross-border E-commerce, Suzhou Industrial Park Integrated Trial Area for Promoting Openness and Innovation, Kunshan Pilot Area for Deepening Cross-strait Industrial Cooperation and so on. It is pushing forward the construction of a pilot city in various aspects, such as CEPA, transformation and upgrading of processing trade, service outsourcing, e-commerce, next-generation Internet, electronic social security and so on. The “Suzhou-Manzhouli-Europe”, “Suzhou-Xinjiang-Central Asia” and “Suzhou-Manzhouli-Russia” international through block trains, Ethiopian Eastern Industry Zone, Horgos Port and Development Zone (jointly constructed with the local parties) and others offer significant support for Suzhou to play its role in “the Belt and Road Initiative”. Furthermore, great efforts have been being exerted to apply for the construction of a free trade zone in Jiangsu Province so that the opportunity to build the China(Suzhou) Free Trade Pilot Area can be awarded.
The urban area of Suzhou is an assembly of various development platforms, which are the national-level and provincial-level development zones, export processing zones, comprehensive bonded zones, bonded logistics parks, scientific research centers, software parks, service outsourcing bases, industrial bases, export bases, holiday resorts and others. These platforms are diverse with a great combination of characteristic industries supported by distinct advantage of policies, making them ideal career platforms for domestic and overseas businessmen to base their business in Suzhou and reach out to the wider world.
8. Strong policy support. Suzhou offers favorable policies to spur the development of strategic emerging industries and modern service industry, improve traditional pillar industries, push forward the progress of scientific innovation and transformation, attract high-end talents and facilitate business financing and the like.