The Kunshan Economic & Technological Development Zone (KETD) was established in 1984. Seven years later, it was approved by the provincial government as a provincial-level economic development zone (EDZ). In August 1992, it was upgraded as a national-level EDZ. Currently, KETD is home to 635,000 people, covering an area of 115 sq km.
Since Kunshan built the EDZ with its own funding over 30 years ago, KETD has been liberalizing its mind and deepening reforms, having accumulated extensive experience in EDZ development. It has built a number of industrial platforms, including the Export Processing Zone, Business Incubator for Overseas Chinese Talent, Optoelectronics Industrial Park and Free Trade Zone. Moreover, KETD is also accelerating the development of industrial parks dedicated to robotics, advanced equipment, advanced food processing, cultural and creative industries. To date, KETD has attracted 2,170 FDI projects from 47 countries and territories, including Europe, the US, Japan, Korea, etc. with a total investment of USD 36.2 billion and a registered capital of USD 19.5 billion. It also hosts over 10,000 domestic companies with a registered capital of RMB 50 billion. KETD has developed five economic pillars: electronics, optoelectronic displays, precision machinery, equipment manufacturing and household goods. Despite the fact that it only occupies one ninth of Kunshan's total area, KETD hosts over 60% of the FDI and over 70% of the Taiwan-sourced FDI, contributes over 40% of the GDP, produces over 50% of the industrial output and generates over 80% of the imports and exports.
As a global magnet of capital, technology and talent, KETD has now become the hub of cross-strait industrial cooperation as well as one of China's leading centers of processing trade, import and export. Among the national-level EDZs rated by the Ministry of Commerce, KETD has been ranked 4th for consecutive years in terms of overall competitiveness, and 1st in terms of institutional innovation. KETD is now designated as a national model in both IPR-driven development and business incubation for overseas Chinese talent, as well as a provincial model in innovation-driven development.
Faced with an economic slowdown in recent years, KETD has shifted its focus to the quality and efficiency of economic development. Thanks to actions including converting economic transition as a new driver of growth, diversifying its economy, developing innovative functions and urbanizing its area, KETD has achieved a stable and quality growth with increased momentum. In 2015, KETD reported RMB 142 billion in GDP, RMB 521.7 billion in industrial output, RMB 9.3 billion in fiscal income, RMB 27.8 billion in fixed asset investment, USD 67.6 billion in imports and exports (including USD 44.2 billion of exports), USD 460 million in registered FDI, USD 620 million in paid-in FDI, and RMB 7.4 billion in registered domestic capital.
Moreover, KETD will continue to deepen reforms, promote innovation-driven development, strengthen the rule of law, stay committed to improving people's living standards and accelerate economic transition, so as to enhance economic stability and health as well as social inclusion and harmony.