Diversification and financial assistance from the government helped Suzhou Industrial Park make a profit of US$7.6m in 2001, Reuters reported a park spokesman as saying. The profit was the first made by the park, which had accumulated losses of US$70m since being set up in 1994 as a joint venture between the Suzhou city government and a consortium of Singaporean businessmen.
Planned as a US$30bn, 70 sq km base for foreign-invested enterprises, it failed to realise its promise after the city government established a competing industrial park nearby. In 2001, the central government paid an undisclosed sum to buy a 30 per cent stake in the park from the Singapore shareholders, reducing their stake to 35 per cent. The park has also adopted new strategies by taking passive stakes in firms located in the park and by moving into residential development.