This article provides an overview of Jiangsu for those keen on exploring the possibility of living and working there. The information presented is gathered from open sources and is not exhaustive or meant to supplement or substitute legal and professional advice.
- Land Area: 102,600 sq kilometres
- Population: 79,990,000 (2016)
- Provincial Capital: Nanjing
- Gross Regional Product (GRP): 7, 738.83 billion RMB (2016)
- GRP Per Capita: 96, 887 RMB (2016)
- Major Cities: Nanjing, Suzhou, Wuxi, Zhenjiang, Changzhou, Xuzhou, Nantong, Huai’an, Yancheng, Kunshan, Yangzhou.
Jiangsu province, located in the eastern-central region of China, borders Shandong in the north, Anhui to the west, and Zhejiang and Shanghai to the south. The Yangtze River, the longest river in China, passes through the province in the south and the Beijing-Hangzhou Grand Canal cuts through Jiangsu from north to south, traversing the east-west river systems.
Data Source: Jiangsu: Market Profile. (2018, January). Hong Kong Trade Development Council.
Since the beginning of China’s economic reforms in the 1990’s, Jiangsu has been a hotspot for economic development. Jiangsu’s GDP ranked the second in China in 2016, after Guangdong, accounting for about 10.4 percent of the national total. The southern Jiangsu area of Nanjing, Suzhou, Wuxi, Zhengjiang and Changzhou is the economic hub of the province. Suzhou has the highest GDP in the province followed by Nanjing and Wuxi.
The major cities in Jiangsu are Nanjing, Suzhou and Wuxi, all located along the Yangtze River.
Nanjing, the capital city of Jiangsu province, is a major centre of culture, education, economy and transport networks. It is the second largest city in the eastern China region, after Shanghai. It is an important industrial production base and has one of the most developed service industry sectors in the Yangtze River Delta. Known as the ”southern capital” for its rich history, Nanjing has been the capital city during various Chinese dynasties.
Suzhou is a major economic centre and focal point of trade and commerce, and the largest city in the province. Over the past 10 years, Suzhou’s economy has experienced the highest growth of all cities in China, making the economy the largest in Jiangsu Province. Founded in 514 BC, Suzhou has over 2,500 years of rich history. The city’s canals, stone bridges, pagodas and gardens have contributed to its status as one of the top tourist attractions in China.
Wuxi has a thriving economy, with the third-largest GDP in Jiangsu. Wuxi’s GDP per capita is second- highest in Jiangsu, resulting in an interesting consumer market. Wuxi was an agricultural centre for the national rice market during the Ming and Qing dynasties and a hub for the textile manufacturing industry.
Jiangsu’s main industries are electronics, telecommunications, chemicals, machinery and equipment, textiles and garment, and metallurgy. The province is also moving towards the development of new and high technology products and is now an important IT manufacturing base in China. Jiangsu has successfully promoted famous brands such as Chunlan air-conditioner, Senda shoes, Bosideng down coat, Skyrun garment and Little Swan washer.
Foreign trade and investment
Major exports of Jiangsu include electronic and mechanical products; new and high technology products; automatic data processing machines and accessories; and garments and clothing accessories. Major export markets include the United States, Hong Kong, Japan and South Korea. Foreign investments in Jiangsu are mainly engaged in the manufacturing sector, particularly in telecommunication equipment, computer, machinery, chemical products and textiles.
In 2016, Jiangsu was the third largest consumer market, after Guangdong and Shandong. Retail sales of consumer goods reached RMB 2,870.7 billion, accounting for 8.6 percent of China’s total in 2016. Annual per capita disposal income of urban households reached RMB 40,152 in 2016.
Jiangsu has the largest number of institutions of higher education in China with 105 universities and colleges. Jiangsu’s universities and colleges have accepted international students from over 100 countries and have had extensive exchange programmes with more than 300 universities internationally.
Jiangsu is home to ancient towns and temples, exquisite and elegant classical gardens, and a beautiful landscape of lakes and mountains. The three major tourist centres in Jiangsu are the Yangtze River area, the Tai lake area and the Xuhuai area. Nine classical gardens in Suzhou are designated as UNESCO world cultural heritage sites. Jiangsu received 678 million domestic tourists and 3.3 million overseas tourists in 2016.
Singapore and Jiangsu
The Singapore-Jiangsu Cooperation Council (SJCC) was officially launched on 1 November 2007. Beyond trade and economics, the council was formed to focus on forging partnerships in areas including education, tourism, and science and technology. The Jiangsu Scholarship Programme provides talented Jiangsu students the opportunity to study in Singapore, providing valuable human capital for both Jiangsu and Singapore. Since SJCC’s inception, bilateral trade between Singapore and Jiangsu has grown from US$9.1 billion in 2007 to US$9.8 billion in 2016. Singapore’s cumulative actual investments in Jiangsu exceeded US$27 billion in September 2017. Singapore-Jiangsu trade accounted for about 10 percent of Singapore-China trade, rising 13.2 percent year-on-year to reach US$8.1 billion in the first three quarters of 2017. Among the Singapore firms operating there include BLOCK71, Boardroom, CapitaLand, Global eTrade Services (GeTS), NUS Enterprise and Rajah & Tann.
At the 11th SJCC meeting held in Suzhou on 23 November 2017, Mr Heng Swee Keat, Minister for Finance highlighted that Singapore companies stood to capture greater trade flows and opportunities in professional services, innovation and urban renewal as Singapore partnered with Jiangsu province, the biggest economy in East China. Minister Heng further added that the Belt and Road Initiative would drive trade and economic cooperation, and catalyse the internationalisation of Chinese enterprises. This would bring increased trade flows and for Singapore and Jiangsu enterprises to jointly expand into Southeast Asia. There was also room to work together in innovation and technology partnerships as both Singapore and Jiangsu placed greater focus on innovation and R&D efforts to transform their economies and to drive growth.
On 31 May 2018, Singapore and Nanjing agreed to deepen collaboration, with seven Singapore companies and an educational institution inking deals in clean technology, logistics and innovation. The memorandums of understanding (MOUs), which involved projects amounting to US$230.25 million were signed at the sixth Singapore-Nanjing Special Projects Cooperation Panel (SNCP) meeting. The SNCP, established in 2013, is the only city-level cooperation platform that Singapore has with China, and aims to boost cooperation through special projects, and comes under the SJCC. Three of the MOUs involved projects on the Singapore-Nanjing Eco Hi-Tech Island (SNEHTI), a provincial-level development zone supported by the Singapore, Jiangsu and Nanjing governments.