Tiexi district in Shenyang, the capital of Northeast China’s Liaoning province, has made its name as a manufacturing base. And to stay true to its manufacturing roots, while becoming more cutting edge, the district has expanded and now houses the city’s economic and technological development zone.
Steel sheets turn into frames for your car in just a second. Gestamp is among one of the first foreign auto parts makers to set up a factory in the economic and technological development zone in Shenyang’s Tiexi district. The reason is simple — to keep close business ties with automakers.
Li Xuejuan, assistant general manager for Gestamp, said, “Location is a must. We chose Shenyang to be close to carmakers so that we can save on logistical costs. We are right across from BMW’s factory.”
Gestamp is just one of many BMW suppliers to set up shop in Shenyang. The city has expanded the cluster of businesses surrounding BMW and established the city’s China-Germany Equipment Manufacturing Industrial Park.
Yang Guomei, director of the enterprise service bureau for the China-Germany Equipment Manufacturing Industrial Park, said, “We used BMW as an industry leader to invite its first- and second-tier suppliers to set up bases here.”
Yang is in charge of the park’s enterprise services division. She said while it all started with automaking, the park is now also home to companies that manufacture smart devices and high-end equipment.
This China-Germany Equipment Manufacturing Industrial Park in Shenyang was made possible thanks to some $30 billion worth of investments. And in 2017, just one year after the park opened for business, its total industrial output reached almost $10 billion.
Over 400 companies have registered at the equipment park. Some 40 percent of them are foreign firms or joint ventures. And the Tiexi district hopes to use the park to boost local manufacturing upgrades.
Liu Chun, deputy director for the development and reform bureau in Shenyang Tiexi Economic and Technological Development Zone, said, “Based on the national strategy, we are now encouraging companies in the development zone to become more high-end, greener and smarter.”
While Tiexi has a long history in manufacturing, the local economy suffered from overcapacity and environmental issues. Now, the hope is that a more open attitude to quality manufacturing companies from home and abroad could help it maintain its competitive edge.