European investors gather in industrial cluster

By YUAN SHENGGAO | (China Daily Global) | Updated : 2022-10-17

China's first platform for high-end equipment manufacturing cooperation with Germany has witnessed steady growth and continued to attract investors from Europe.

The China-Germany Equipment Manufacturing Industrial Park in Tiexi district of Shenyang, the capital of Northeast China's Liaoning province, was built in late 2015 to demonstrate the combined efforts of Made in China 2025 and the Germany — Industry 4.0 initiative.

Premium carmaker BMW invested 15 billion yuan ($2.1 billion), its largest single investment project so far in China, in a new plant at the park, which officially opened in June.

Before that, BMW located its largest research center and the only powertrain plant outside Europe in the park, said Zhao Yongsheng, acting chief of Tiexi and director of the administrative committee of the park.

So far, the park has attracted direct investments from 84 of the world's top 500 companies. Automotive manufacturing led all the industries with a combined investment of 80 billion yuan, followed by biomedicine which surpassed 10 billion yuan, park data showed.

"We have attached much importance to the balance of production, public life and the ecosystem. The focus has shifted from caring more about industrial development to interactions and integration between the city and industries, human matters and the environment," Zhao said.

The park, designed by German companies, included ideas of being people-oriented, respecting nature, going green and low-carbon, and remaining an excellent industrial cultural heritage site.

It has established a close relationship with innovation institutions, companies and professional associations in Germany and other European countries, according to Zhao.

The China-Germany Enterprise International Innovation Incubation Center opened in June, coupling with the park's offshore innovation platforms, to provide professional services to startup companies and talents from home and abroad.

Services include providing offices and meeting rooms for startup companies and entrepreneurial teams from abroad, helping them with registration, giving online or on-site training and setting up roadshow or exhibition spaces. So far, 21 companies from home and abroad have moved in.

Over the past five years, the park's administrative committee has organized about 130 events to invite officials and delegations from Germany and other European countries to tour the park, deepening mutual understanding, Zhao said.

In 2021, the industrial output value of the park hit 94.6 billion yuan, up 9.2 percent from 2020, the park data showed.

Also that year, the investment in fixed assets in the park reached nearly 14.2 billion yuan, surging 16.9 percent year-on-year. Of the amount, the investment used for industries totaled 8.8 billion, representing a 62.3 percent increase from 2020.

The growth was faster in the first half of 2022 as investment in fixed assets rose 80.7 percent year-on-year to roughly 8 billion yuan.

"We will continue to attract both leading equipment manufacturers and small and medium-sized enterprises from Germany and other European countries, with a goal that at least half of the companies in the park come from Europe by 2025," Zhao said.

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