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Eastward Expansion Becomes Priority in Suzhou's Urban Development

The main emphasis in SIP development and construction is now switching from modern industrial park to modernized new urban district, and this is confirmed at the annual summary and citation conference of SIP for the year 2006. Apart from the consistent efforts to raise technological innovation capability, SIP has made it a priority to push forward the urbanization process by building up the three zones with high standards and in high speed, namely, the around-Jinji-Lake CBD, Yangcheng Lake Ecological Tourist and Vacation Zone, and Dushu Lake Science and Education Innovation Zone, and carrying out experimentation in comprehensive bonded area in eastern SIP, transforming the outlooks along Donghuan Road, and completing the eastward extension project of South Ring Road and the northward extension project of South Ring Road by tunnels and overpass bridges.

In line with the master plan of Suzhou, which defines the eastern expansion as the major emphasis of urbanization, SIP has since last year sped up the work to shift sole attention to industry to equal stress on industry and service sector and to switch from building modern industrial park to the construction of modernized new urban district. In 2006, construction projects started in 2006 covered a total of 8.61 million square meters, of which 4.48 million square meters were completed. Landmark buildings and landscaped projects like Science and Cultural Center and Ligong Causeway appeared, and transformation of artery roads like Suhong Road and Xinghu Street were completed with addition of 3.58 million square meters' green grounds. Lighting, waterscape, afforestation sculptures, and Shahu Lake Ecological Park, Baitang Botanical Garden, etc. added much attraction to the whole area. The successful organization of Giant Crab Cultural Festival, Tourism Festival, and the opening ceremony of the 3rd National Sports Games helped to attract more residents and businesses to SIP. The fascination and vitality of SIP, the "modern Suzhou" as people call it, lies in the combination of the classical with the modern, the local culture with international elements.

By the requirements of "adequate functions, more population and growing prosperity", SIP is planning to introduce into the area several F&B projects with over 1,000 seating capacity each, famous-brand large-scale entertainment projects, and world-famous retail, general merchandise, and chain stores.

The comprehensive development index of SIP in 2006 ranks from the previous third to the second among all national-level development zones, and of the "top 20 most attractive development zones in China" in the eyes of multinational corporations, SIP claims the very first rating. The year 2006 registered SIP's gross GDP in 68 billion RMB, which increased by 19% on the annual basis, and the general budgeted income amounted to 5.26 billion RMB, with an increase of 27%, leading the whole municipality in all economic targets.

Feb. 7, 2007

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