While China has laid more emphasis on high-quality development in the real economy, the cities of Suzhou and Wuxi in Jiangsu province have come up with the right path to achieve that goal, which was demonstrated by their outstanding industrial output figures last year.
Wuxi’s government said on Sunday that the city’s total industrial output made by companies with an annual turnover of at least 20 million yuan ($3.1 million) each was 2.1 trillion yuan in 2021, a record high and up 19 percent year-on-year.
Another record has been set in the neighboring Suzhou. The city’s government announced in late December that its industrial output made by companies with an annual turnover of at least 20 million yuan each had topped 4 trillion yuan in 2021, up 15 percent year-on-year. That number beat the 3.7 trillion yuan record set by Shenzhen in 2020, and, based on the 2020 data, it was also twice the figure of Guangzhou and six times that of Xi’an.
The reasons for the skyrocketing numbers are worth a closer look. Wuxi’s 16 thriving key industries including internet of things, integrated circuits and high-end equipment had buoyed the city’s industrial output with their combined turnover in 2021 jumping 21 percent year-on-year to reach 1.76 trillion yuan.
Similarly, information technology, equipment manufacturing, biomedicine and advanced materials accounted for 3.8 trillion yuan of Suzhou’s total industrial output of 4 trillion yuan last year.
Wuxi’s huge progress showed that industries are the “foundation “of high-quality economic growth, and this was also was in line with the central government’s emphasis on the development of the real economy, said Wu Yan, director of the city’s bureau of industry and information technology.
Shen Kaiyan, head of the Institute of Economics at Shanghai Academy of Social Sciences, said the surge in Wuxi’s industrial output was especially encouraging at a time when there was industrial decline in some Chinese cities due to economic restructuring. Last year’s growth helped Wuxi become one of the leaders in the Yangtze River Delta region along with Shanghai and Suzhou in terms of industrial development, she said.
Zhang Lixin, chairman of Wuxi-based IC design company Chipown Micro-electronics Limited, said that industry leaders should shoulder more responsibility by creating coordinated development and attracting the right talent to Wuxi so that a more market-based environment can be built there.
Meanwhile, Suzhou’s annual industrial growth rate reached 20.5 percent in the first half of 2021, compared with 15.2 percent in Shanghai and 4.8 percent in Shenzhen during that period.
As of the end of 2021, Suzhou was home to 111,555 high-tech innovative companies recognized by the Ministry of Science and Technology. In a report released on Dec 24 by market research firm CCID Consulting, the city ranked first among all prefecture-level cities in China in terms of development of the digital economy.
Cao Lubao, Party secretary of Suzhou, said that innovation should serve as the engine of the city’s economic growth. More projects and companies should be attracted to the city to build more industrial clusters, he said.
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