Suzhou Industrial Park (SIP) is a relatively recent addition to the myriad of industrial zones. Established with joint Singapore and local investment and classified as an Integrated Bonded Zone (IBZ), the SIP brings similar advantages to the establishment of foreign businesses, such as tax breaks and improved export processing.
SIP’s goal is to be a city, not an industrial park. As such, the sprawling area has universities to feed local industry with talent, foreign and local shops, subsidized apartment buildings, its own customs house, five star hotels and international hospitals and schools to serve the 20,000 expats who live in the zone.
Typical of the companies, there is Adidas which serves, as a first priority, 5,000 Adidas’ branded shops in China. The company faces a problem most companies would love to have: double-digit growth every year for several years. As such, Adidas is playing catch-up on some of its processes and optimizing its supply chain to deliver greater efficiency to the numerous stores it serves.
Supply Chain reports that Suzhou has a number of attractive features for business set-up and living, including its own virtual airport code (SZV) so that goods can go directly to or from Pudong airport, passing customs clearance in Suzhou rather than at Pudong.
On a cost comparison to Shanghai, living costs are significantly lower as are labor and operational costs. A high-speed Suzhou-Shanghai train takes about 30 minutes.