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Suzhou to Develop 5 City-level Commercial Centers

In addition to the traditional commercial centers at Guanqian Street, Shilu, and South Gate area, two more city-level commercial centers will be developed, namely, the round-Jinji-Lake commercial belt in SIP and Lion Hill Plaza in SND, according to the development program for commerce and trade in the 11th 5-year plan period of Suzhou. The program outlines the framework of modern commercial and trade system to be formed by 2010, characterized by striking features, adequate functions, rational deployment, and coordinated growth. Major economic targets will rank among the first in Jiangsu Province, and the total volume of social consumer goods retail is expected to rank among the top ten in China.

Simultaneous development is required in the program for commerce and trade as well as new emerging businesses in urban districts of Suzhou Municipality, the county-level cities, communities, retail and wholesale businesses. Of the 3 city-level commercial centers in the old city proper, Guanqian Street area will be a congregation of traditional brand stores and international vogues, Shilu area will feature cultural entertainment and creative businesses, and South Gate area will oriented to comprehensive services of commercial activities, tourism, and leisure. Construction of the two new commercial centers in SIP and SND will be stepped up, and by 2010, it is anticipated that over 20 top-notch international franchised stores, over 50 top brands of garment and cosmetics, and over 300 top international brands will be introduced.

Another emphasis in commercial development during the 11th 5-year plan period is to accelerate the commercial and service networks in county-level cities and rural areas. Chain commercial stores will cover all of the 1,363 jurisdiction areas of the municipality. In SIP, service system based on "neighborhood centers" will be further improved. 6 more such centers are being planned to add up to 10 by the year 2010, with a total business area of 150,000 square meters, in service of approximately 300,000 residents in SIP.

June 1, 2006

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