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|Monday, February 05, 2001, updated at 11:11(GMT+8)|
Suzhou Promotes High-techThe successful operation of service sectors in eastern China Suzhou New District has promoted the development of high-tech industries there over the past few years, resulting in large growth for Suzhou's gross domestic product.
"The objective of providing quality services is to attract more domestic and overseas investors in a bid to upgrade the industrial structure and increase our competitiveness on the world market," said Wang Yonggang, director of the Administrative Committee of Suzhou New District.
The Suzhou New and High-tech Innovation Service Centre was opened as early as 1994 to help improve the local environment for enterprises and firms. A building with a floor space of 38,000 square metres was built to house service companies. It is equipped with all the necessary facilities, such as the Internet, a public security system, a trading hall for high-tech products, information centres, a product testing centre, a training centre and public laboratories.
In 1996, an International Business Incubator was established in the new district as a personnel training base and a cradle for new firms.
The business incubator covers an area of about 50,000 square metres and has the most advanced equipment and facilities available.
So far, more than 300 enterprises and companies have settled in the centre, including 70 set up by returned overseas students and 30 by major research institutes and universities from across the country. Altogether they have registered an output value of over 6 billion yuan (US$750 million) in the past five years.
To help small and medium-sized startups, the Administrative Committee of the New District set up a venture capital company to provide financial support. Other fund raising channels were also opened up to give a much needed boost to the research and development of those firms.
Measures were taken to better approval procedures and preferential policies.
All the procedures for setting up a new firm can now be completed within a week, instead of taking weeks or even months as in the past.
High-tech firms are exempt from income taxes for the first two years and continue to enjoy favourable conditions for a few years after that.
More than 10 famous multinational companies have set up research and development institutes in the area, which has contributed a great deal to upgrading the technological level of industrial sectors in the area.
By the end of last year, electronic communications, biomedicine, chemistry and new material technology had become the pillar industries of the new district, making up over 60 per cent of its industrial output value.
Source: China Daily
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