Located in the Yangtze River Delta, Jiangsu Province is a world-class cluster of cosmopolitan cities with rich resources. In recent years, the province has been focused on developing its key industries, including the medical industry
Jiangsu Province is located on the eastern coast of Mainland China with a total area of 107,200 square kilometres. It administers 13 prefecture-level cities namely Nanjing, Wuxi, Xuzhou, Changzhou, Suzhou, Nantong, Lianyungang, Huaian, Yancheng, Yangzhou, Zhenjiang, Taizhou and Suqian. As of the end of 2020, Jiangsu registered a permanent population of 84.74 million, making it the most densely populated province in Mainland China. As of August 2020, it recorded a GDP of RMB10,271.9bn, a 3.7-per-cent year-on-year increase (1.4 per cent higher than that of the nation). With the per capita disposable income grew by 4.8 per cent to RMB43,390, Jiangsu has become one of the provinces in the nation with the highest level of comprehensive development. Jiangsu’s pace of development is on par with that of middle- and upper-class developed countries.
Profound heritage and culture
With the Yangtze River and Huai River running through it, Jiangsu’s inland navigation is well-developed and further facilitated by the Beijing–Hangzhou Grand Canal. Its proximity to the sea fosters a trade-oriented economy that has helped the region prosper. It is one of the birthplaces of ancient Chinese civilisation and a multitude of cultures are well-respected. It’s no wonder numerous painters, writers, scientists and economists have hailed from Jiangsu.
Jiangsu, Shanghai and Zhejiang form the Yangtze River Delta urban cluster, which is one of six largest world-class urban agglomerations. Jiangsu has been a place of prosperity since ancient times and is located at the heart of the Yangtze River Delta. It is the only province where all its prefecture-level cities are among the top 100 cities in the country. Moreover, the top four of the country’s top 100 counties are all located in Jiangsu.
Jiangsu has a long history and a high concentration of gardens, scenic spots and historical sites. It boosts abundant tourist attractions including Nanjing, the country’s old capital; Suzhou, which is affectionately called “paradise”; and the mausoleums of the first emperor of the Ming dynasty and the founder of modern Mainland China, Sun Yat-sen. Moreover, the province’s ancient canals are as spectacular as the Great Wall. It is also known for having a dense water network, magnificent mountains and beautiful gardens.
Highways in Jiangsu register a total mileage of 158,000 kilometres. There are nine civil airports and nine first-category aviation ports. The two main railway lines of the Beijing–Shanghai Railway and the Lanzhou–Lianyungang Railway pass through the area. The Nanjing–Shanghai section of the Beijing–Shanghai Railway is one of the busiest railways in Mainland China, with trains passing through every five minutes during peak hours. While Jiangsu borders the Yellow Sea in the east, the Yangtze River and the Beijing–Hangzhou Grand Canal criss-cross Jiangsu. The Taihu Plain and Lixiahe Plain are densely covered with water networks, making water navigation an important means in the transportation system of the province and laying the foundation of the province’s economic success.
Jiangsu is also a major port province. Seven of the 53 major ports in Mainland China listed by the Ministry of Transport of the People’s Republic of China are in Jiangsu, while five of the 25 major coastal ports are located in the province. Nanjing Port, Nantong Port and Zhenjiang Port are all coastal ports with significant economic importance, whereas Taicang Port is one of Jiangsu’s key container ports.
Competitive edge of the medical device industry
Jiangsu is a major province for medical devices as it is home to the largest numbers of manufacturers, operating companies and registered products in the country.
As of the end of 2020, the province had 2,517 medical device manufacturers, 840, 1,279 and 390 of which were of the first, second and third category, respectively. There were 616 manufacturers of sterilisation products, 83 for implants, 641 for active implantable medical devices, 64 for dentures and 180 for in-vitro diagnostic reagents, as well as more than 100 foreign companies and joint ventures in the province. The industry produces around 100 billion products annually. Jiangsu has obtained 12,884 domestic registration certificates for medical devices, which account for 16.51 per cent of the country’s total and rank first among 32 provinces, autonomous regions and municipalities.
With the advancement of science and technology (especially in the medical field), both low- and high-value consumables made from quality materials have maintained a good pace of development in Jiangsu. Currently, the production of low-value consumables is mainly concentrated in Suzhou, Changzhou and Wuxi, while high-value consumables is mostly in Nanjing and Suzhou.
A region’s medical device industry is closely linked to its economy. In developed areas, the medical device industry is relatively advanced, whereas in developing areas, the scale of the medical device industry is relatively small.
Jiangsu’s medical device industry has a large number of manufacturers and operating companies, many of which are of small and medium size. In southern Jiangsu, the industry is expanding particularly fast, thanks to a range of hi-tech products, high production capability, output value and sales volume.
There are more than 100 foreign companies and joint ventures operating in Jiangsu, including Johnson & Johnson, GM, BD, Siemens, Philips, Stryker, Medtronic and many other world-renowned brands, all of which have brought significant economic strength and advanced technology to the province. The global medical device market has grown steadily in recent years and is expected to maintain a five-per-cent growth rate each year, while the Chinese medical device market is enjoying windows of opportunity for development and is estimated to grow by an average of 16 per cent annually.
Jiangsu has over 20 industrial parks that are related to the medical device industry, including the Jiangsu Medical Device Technology Industrial Park and China Medical City. The conglomeration of companies in the industrial parks, as well as favourable government policies and key government services for the industry, have greatly benefited its development.
The COVID-19 pandemic has affected the medical device industry by bringing challenges to its production capability. However, it has also provided opportunities for the industry to transform and develop further.
According to the General Administration of Customs of the People’s Republic of China, the province exported US$4.843bn of medical devices in 2019. In the first seven months of 2020, Jiangsu exported US$2.984bn of medical devices, while US$345.41m of in-vitro diagnostic reagents were exported from the province in the entire year of 2020.
Jiangsu boasts robust economic and industrial strength, a beautiful environment, profound culture, preferential policies and excellent government services. It is no wonder that its medical device industry is in its golden age of development.