Fri, April 17, 2009
Business > Industries > Boao Forum for Asia 2009

Industrial park mirrors sign of growth recovery

2009-04-14 11:36:51 GMT2009-04-14 19:36:51 (Beijing Time)  Xinhua English

SUZHOU, April 14 (Xinhua) -- In the Suzhou Industrial Park (SIP), job fairs every week show signs of a boom in personnel demand as companies in the park seek recruitment for business.

"We are planning to hire ten people in our client service section," said Xu Yang, marketing manager of the Suzhou Branch of Everbright Securities Co., Ltd, at a job fair last Friday in the hall of the SIP Human Resources Market.

"The slowdown of the overall macro-economy does not represent the stop of a company's development," said Xu. "We are confident of the economic growth revival in the second half of the year."

More than 110 enterprises in the SIP attended Friday's fair, offering 2,000 jobs in machinery, electronics and service sectors, organizers said.

The SIP is a joint project established in 1994 between China and Singapore. Currently, the park has more than 12,000 companies, including about 1,400 Sino-foreign joint ventures.

After the worst-affected period from November through January for SIP, basic development indices in the park had shown positive changes, according to Ma Minglong, secretary of the Communist Party of China (CPC) SIP Working Committee. He said the park realized an 8.5 percent growth year-on-year in financial revenue in the first quarter.

The recruitment in the park has been on the rise since the beginning of April, with orders of companies increasing, as compared with the past several months, Ma said.

To help companies overcome difficulties brought by the global downturn, the SIP Administrative Committee has taken measures including the earmarking of 200 million yuan (29.32 million U.S. dollars) as guarantee funds to help small and medium-sized enterprises get bank loans, said Ma.

Imports and exports are reviving in the park.

In March, the park's volume of imports and exports reached 3.8 billion U.S. dollars, up 24.5 percent from February. The figure of February was only 12.7 percent up from that of January.

Premier Wen Jiabao has said that China's economy showed signs of better-than-expected changes during the first quarter as a result of the economic stimulus package. He said industrial output rose 8.3 percent in March, up from a record low of 3.8 percent in the first two months of the year.

Companies in the SIP are optimistic about their businesses.

Lee Byung-chul, Samsung's regional director for East of China, said the global credit crisis would not affect Samsung's investment plan in China.

The company has planned to double its production of laptops this year in China. Samsung is one of the earliest foreign-invested companies in the SIP.

"China's policy to stimulate domestic demand also made us believe the country's economic growth recovery would come soon," he said, adding that the company was full of expectations for the second half of the year.

In the first quarter, the company's sales revenue grew 18 percent year-on-year to reach 59 million U.S. dollars, said Frank Wu, vice president of Positec Machinery (China) Co., Ltd, a Suzhou-based company which produces tools such as electric drills and mowers for exports.

Wu said their low-end, practical and high-quality products were welcome in overseas markets, contributing to the revenue growth.

The company planned to increase its investment in research and development by 30 to 50 percent this year to reach 60 million yuan, he added.

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