Taicang: A Flourishing Hub for German Investment in East China

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For over thirty years, Taicang has carved out a niche as a prime destination for German enterprises, driven by its dedication to creating a supportive business ecosystem. This commitment was recognized in November 2008 when Taicang was designated as a "Sino-German Enterprise Cooperation Base" by both China's Ministry of Commerce and Germany's Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development. It remains the only city accorded this status, underscoring its pivotal role in fostering German business interests.

The city's strategic approach to cultivating a favorable business climate is evident in the accolades from German businesses that emphasize the meticulous government services and effective communication channels between businesses and local authorities. Jan Assmann, the general manager of Bernstein in Taicang, highlights the city’s progressive policies which have not only attracted, but also retained, German companies, creating a robust industrial and supply chain centered around automotive and machine tools.

The establishment of the German Center Taicang in 2016 further bolstered this growth, providing comprehensive business services to a diverse group of German enterprises. Marieke Bossek, the center's general manager, praises the tailored services and the personal attention given to each German enterprise by dedicated service specialists, reflecting the city’s commitment to addressing the specific needs of its international investors.

In recent years, the city has seen significant investment expansions from long-standing German firms. Matthias Zink, CEO Automotive Technologies at Schaeffler Group, shared that their continued investment, now totaling over 11 billion yuan, has transformed Taicang into one of Schaeffler’s largest manufacturing hubs globally.

Parallel to business growth, Taicang has also emphasized cultural integration, creating a vibrant community for German expatriates with initiatives like Rothenburg Street, and hosting events such as beer festivals and Sino-German cultural exchanges.

As China continues to enhance its open economic policies, Taicang’s model of integrating high-level business facilitation with cultural inclusivity stands as a compelling example of how targeted local strategies can attract and sustain foreign investment, especially in times of global economic challenges. This approach not only propels Taicang's local economy but also solidifies its status as a beacon of Sino-German cooperation.

Source: People's Daily


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