AmCham Shanghai hosted its annual Suzhou Municipal Government Luncheon on October 19, attracting a wide range of senior government officials and AmCham Shanghai member companies. Senior level officials from the U.S. Consulate in Shanghai included Consul General Hanscom Smith, Deputy Principal Commercial Officer Terri Tyminski, and Outreach Unit Chief Mary Sue Fields. Suzhou government officials in attendance included Vice-Mayor Sheng Lei, Foreign Affairs Office Director General Xu Huadong, Economic and Information Technology Commission Deputy Director Jin Xiaohu, and Commerce Bureau Deputy Director Liu Lu and many others.
Approximately 80 attendees gathered at Shangri-La Suzhou over lunch to discuss the manufacturing outlook for the city amidst the launch of its Thirteenth Five-Year Plan. Chamber President Kenneth Jarrett stated in his remarks about the importance of Suzhou: “the gross domestic product (GDP) of Suzhou ranks seventh in China, which strongly proves the governance capability of Suzhou Municipal Government.” Kenneth also mentioned the importance of the 3 Year Action Plan for Open Economy Innovation and 3+1 Initiatives for Deepening Innovation Driven Development as key initiatives for American companies to focus on for future development. U.S. Consul General Hanscom Smith followed by emphasizing the large size of U.S. investment in Suzhou, stating that 10% of U.S. investment in China is located in Suzhou.
Vice Mayor Sheng Lei discussed Suzhou’s focus on development in the smart manufacturing and new technology sectors, particularly in new energy vehicles, biotechnology and medical devices. Sheng Lei also discussed Suzhou’s focus on promoting its cross-border e-commerce platform, developing Suzhou into a destination for global equipment repair, as well as transitioning Suzhou’s export processing zones into areas where companies can increase both their international and domestic sales. Sheng Lei mentioned that there are over 1000 American invested projects in Suzhou, and over 150,000 expatriates living in Suzhou.
The 2016 Suzhou Municipal Government Luncheon was supported by Platinum sponsors PPG and TE Connectivity as well as Corporate sponsor Eastern American.