Construction will soon begin on a heavily funded healthcare park, believed to be the country's largest, in Suzhou's Wujiang Industrial Development Zone.
The park, which will cost an estimated 16 billion yuan in three years, will cover 200 hectares and produce healthcare products, said Zhao Lu, CEO of Suzhou International Healthcare Park Co Ltd.
The zone's management committee has signed a leasing agreement with the company to push forward the park.
A source with the Wujiang city government said the aim of the healthcare park is to restructure local industry.
Wujiang, a small city under Suzhou's jurisdiction, now has three pillar industries: textile, telecommunications and IT.
"But we hope the new industry will make big contributions to the growth of the city's gross domestic product," said Wujiang Party secretary Zhu Min.
Zhao said initial funds of 700 million yuan will be injected into the first phase of the project to build service facilities on an area of some 50 hectares.
The remaining land will be used to build standard units leased to healthcare producers. The entire project is scheduled to be completed by 2010.
"Funds are not a problem for the company, because it has signed agreements with local financial institutions for a considerable sum of loans," he said.
Agreements have been signed with five Chinese banks, including Bank of China, the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China and Agricultural Bank of China, for loan support.
Zhao told China Daily that a part of the funding will come from foreign investors. To date, 10 investors from Japan, the US and other countries have signed letters of intent with the company to produce healthcare products in the park.
(China Daily June 26, 2007)