Watch the video to discover Suzhou with Minnie . [Video/chinadaily.com.cn]
Minnie, a Singaporean who has been living in Suzhou, East China's Jiangsu province, for 18 years, was invited to the ASEAN Plus Three Forum on Industrial Chains and Supply Chain Cooperation & the Taihu East Asian Entrepreneurs Forum held in the city recently. She will use the opportunity to show us the two sides of this ancient city.
Built in 514 BC, Suzhou boasts a history of over 2,500 years, which makes it not only a renowned tourist destination in China, but also an industrial megacity with tremendous hard power.
In 2021, Suzhou's GDP ranked sixth in the country and first among prefecture-level cities. The output value of the local equipment manufacturing industry exceeded the 1 trillion yuan ($142.6 billion) mark in 2020.
The output value of Suzhou's four leading industries, which are new-generation information technology, artificial intelligence, biomedicine, and nanotechnology, accounted for 25 percent of the city's total industrial output value.
Suzhou's total exports and imports also rose from $300.9 billion in 2011 to $392.1 billion in 2021 and are expected to surpass the $400 billion mark this year, hitting a record high.
In terms of the development of professionals, Suzhou has introduced the mutual certification of professional titles and academic qualifications, which is a very important step and of great help to businesses.
"Suzhou has given us a lot of help, offering us tax breaks in a variety of ways. We sometimes need to take out loans, and the Suzhou government will reduce the interest rates for us," said Jang Myoung-pyo, general manager of Suzhou Posco-core Technology Co, a Korea-invested enterprise.
"I moved to Suzhou in 1999. Suzhou has changed a lot during this time. The city is now a manufacturing hub of China and one of the best places in the world. I believe it will become even stronger in the future," said Jason Ang, chairman of Orientech Fine Blanking Co.
The city's rapid development in culture, economy and policies has also benefited the well-being of residents, as many locals commented that Suzhou is a very comfortable and very welcoming city and that the historical, modern and international aspects of Suzhou integrate with each other perfectly.