A high-level delegation from Wuxi led by its mayor Zhao Jianjun visited Singapore, the Republic of Korea and Japan from May 4 to May 12 to strengthen economic, trade and cultural ties, and signed 79 cooperation projects amounting to a total contract value of $12.2 billion with the top companies of these countries, according to the Wuxi municipal government.
Wuxi, in Jiangsu province, has topped Chinese cities in per capita GDP in 2020, 2021 and 2022, and has established a market-oriented, rule-based and globalized environment to bolster its economy and trade, it said. The city has attracted more than 7,200 foreign-funded companies, and its use of foreign capital has surpassed $80 billion.
Last year, foreign-funded companies contributed to 30 percent of the city's industrial output and tax revenue, according to the statement.
"We will take this exchange as an opportunity to further expand high-level opening-up and provide better services, preferential policies and a comfortable environment," Zhao said in a statement.
In Singapore, the delegation held an international cooperation and exchange conference and communicated with leading enterprises and universities to deepen understanding and cooperation between Wuxi and the city-state.
Wuxi and Singapore's Sembcorp Group agreed to build the Wuxi Singapore Science and Technology Innovation City to introduce advanced technologies and leading enterprises to the city from the Belt and Road Initiative markets and member nations of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership.
Singapore has stood out as a friendly, trustworthy and reliable partner in Wuxi's history of international exchanges, according to the municipal government. Wuxi's trade value with Singapore touched $4.12 billion last year, an increase of 11.1 percent year-on-year.
Singapore has invested in more than 700 enterprises in Wuxi with a cumulative capital of $16.4 billion as of December, while Wuxi's enterprises have invested in 61 projects in Singapore with an agreed investment amount of $1.06 billion as of February, the municipal government said.
According to Hu Zhuojun, executive director of Singapore's THI Industrial Investment Group, Jiangsu is an attraction for investors as it is one of the most economically developed regions in China, and has a strong industrial foundation.
"We will build an industrial park with Singapore characteristics in Wuxi, based on the previous investment experience of Singapore by introducing enterprises from the marine and shipbuilding industry," he was quoted as saying by the Jiangsu Broadcasting Corp.
Kim Doo-gyeom, mayor of Ulsan, South Korea, said the city's plan was to continuously deepen cooperation between the two cities in areas such as artificial intelligence, new energy and the biological industry.
The Republic of Korea and Japan are important trading partners of Wuxi, especially in the fields of integrated circuits, new energy, bio-pharmaceuticals and automotive industries.
By the end of last year, ROK had invested in 742 companies in Wuxi, with a cumulative amount of $25.84 billion, accounting for nearly one-third of Jiangsu's use of capital from the country.
Last year, Japan became Wuxi's second-largest trade partner with a trade value of $10.68 billion. As of the end of 2022, Japan had invested $16.65 billion in 1,278 companies in the city.
"The rapid development of Wuxi's integrated circuit industry and its attraction of South Korean capital have proved the strong manufacturing industry and support capabilities of the city," said Chen Ping, director of the Wuxi Investment Promotion Center.
The city now has 36 of the 41 major industrial categories in the country, Chen said.
To deepen cooperation, the Wuxi delegation unveiled multiple service platforms, including the Wuxi (Seoul) Business Innovation Exchange Center, Wuxi (Tokyo) Business Innovation Exchange Center and Wuxi Cultural Tourism (Tokyo) Promotion Center.
Wuxi said it would construct five to eight new high-quality international communities and more than three international medical institutions over the next three years in order to provide a better environment for global investors to start businesses in the city.