Changshu Export Processing Zone or Changshu EPZ is located in Changshu Economic and Technological Development Zone, won approval from the State Council in 2005. It covers an area of 0.94 sq km and commenced operation in December 2006. The city of 1 million people is 80 km from Shanghai and 45 km from Suzhou. Changshu EPZ is close to Changshu Port, one of the major ports in Jiangsu.
Major industries encouraged in this zone include the production of electric appliances, auto parts, precision machinery, equipment manufacturing, new construction materials and biopharmaceuticals. The enterprises in the zone enjoy preferential policies such as permit exemption, tax exemption, protective tariffs and tax refunds.
By the end of January 2008, Changshu EPZ had attracted US$55 million in foreign investment. U.S.-based Swagelok Corp, a leading fluid-system manufacturer, invested a total of US$25 million in a facility to build precision valves and installation parts in the zone.
Changshu city is in a good geographical location near Shanghai and Suzhou, two large economies in the Yangtze River Delta. In 2009, GDP of Changshu grew by 12% from the previous year to RMB 128 billion and it is expected to grow to a size of RMB 160 billion by end 2011. The mainstream heavy industry in the city is metallurgy, while textiles- and garments manufacturing makes up the city’s major light industries. As one of the traditional textiles industrial bases, the textiles and garments industries contributed to almost one third of the city’s total industrial output. Changshu attracted utilized FDI of US$815 million in 2009, and a large percentage of the investments came from Taiwan, Hong Kong and Japan.
Major foreign investors in this zone are FMC Technologies, NSL, Swagelok and DHC.