Wuxi makes pitch for US funds

Updated: 2013-05-21 11:06

By Michael Barris and Hu Haidan in New York (China Daily)

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 Wuxi makes pitch for US funds

Huang Lixin (left), Party secretary of Wuxi, and Sun Guoxiang, China's consul-general in New York, attend a symposium in New York on Monday which attracts American companies to invest in Wuxi, Jiangsu province. Hu Haidan / China Daily

The city of Wuxi hopes to spur foreign investment to its services sector by opening a chamber of commerce office in New York, a move Wuxi Party Secretary Huang Lixin said could raise financial, economic and trade cooperation between the city and the United States to "a new level".

"New York is the largest US city and is the world's most important financial trade and commercial center," Huang told a symposium in New York on Monday. The event, at a hotel in the city's financial district, aimed to stimulate US investment in Wuxi's service economy - which includes finance, real estate, creative design, microelectronics, renewable energy and biotechnology.

Located in China's wealthiest region, Wuxi is a leading maker of textiles, apparel and electronics. A major iron and steel center is also located there. In 2010, the city's service sectors outperformed its manufacturing sector as an investment destination.

Sponsored by the Wuxi Municipal People's Government and organized by the Wuxi Municipal Bureau of Commerce, the symposium was designed to promote the attractiveness of Wuxi's service industries to potential investors.

Wuxi has become a mecca of sorts for the microelectronics industry with 180 major firms, including SK Hynix Semiconductors, China Resources Microelectronics, and Hitech Semiconductor.

Those on hand were told about the city's growth as a center for the creative design industry - including animation and online games - and for the biotechnology industry, including Pfizer and AstraZeneca and some 400 or more other biological and pharmaceutical firms. The conference also highlighted Wuxi's prominence in the software and service outsourcing industry.

Wuxi's latest outreach to US investors comes as China's central government, provinces and municipalities promote the services sector - including entertainment, tourism and agriculture - as the linchpin in a country transitioning from an export-driven economy to a market-driven one.

Wuxi is seen as a likely place for the transition to take place. Located halfway between Shanghai and Nanjing, Wuxi boasts the highest per capita GDP of all the cities in affluent Jiangsu. Its per capita GDP reached $18,700 last year, while that of Beijing and Shanghai, the country's political and financial centers, stood at $14,133 and $13,795, respectively, last year.

For Rob DiVenere, a venture capitalist who invests in software and hardware companies, the symposium offered an opportunity to "reinforce our contact with China" and "learn more about the dynamic of Wuxi".

"We already had an office in Beijing, Suzhou and we are putting an office in Wuxi," he said.