Understand How European-Funded Enterprises Intensify Presence in TEDA from Four Key Words
In 2023, European enterprises continue to intensify their presence in TEDA, with several major projects commencing construction. Through tangible actions, they demonstrate that their trust and recognition in TEDA remain unchanged. TEDA continues to be an investment destination with global influence and competitiveness. High-value projects will further contribute to the stable and long-term development of the economy of TEDA. Four key words will help you explore in which areas European enterprises are mainly focusing their efforts, and understand the new characteristics of European enterprise investment in TEDA.
The SEW Smart Assembly Center has Started Construction
The Spring Festival has just arrived, and SEW has officially commenced construction on its $150 million smart assembly center in TEDA. This heavyweight high-end smart project will utilize the most advanced intelligent logistics core technology of SEW to create a model smart manufacturing factory for SEW in China. After 28 years in Tianjin, SEW has increased its investment more than ten times, expanded its production scale and continually advanced its level of automation. “Starting from Tianjin, taking root in TEDA. SEW will introduce and locally produce core intelligent manufacturing products in Tianjin.” said Zhang Shengli, Executive Chairman of SEW China.
Grammer Injects New Intelligence Power into the Automotive Industry of TEDA
The globally renowned multinational company Grammer, specializing in commercial vehicle seating and passenger car interiors, is confident in industrial development of TEDA. This year, the Company has signed contracts for two significant projects in TEDA and will continue to focus on the smart manufacturing field. Among these projects, the passenger car seat project of Grammer Vehicle Components Tianjin Co., Ltd. will establish a high-end intelligent production line, injecting new intelligence into the automotive industry of TEDA.
Intelligent Footprint of Vitesco Technologies in TEDA Continues to Expand
German-based Vitesco Technologies is deepening its strategic presence in Tianjin. After successfully establishing a super factory in TEDA that integrates research and development, testing, and production, in August 2023, TEDA Administrative Commission signed a memorandum of cooperation with Vitesco Automotive Tianjin Co., Ltd for a new energy intelligent manufacturing and new product investment project. Vitesco Technologies will continue to invest 1.2 billion yuan in fixed assets, with a focus on building a new energy vehicle research and development platform and producing core components. “Vitesco Technologies is confident in the development of Tianjin’s new energy vehicle industry.” said Thomas Stierle, a member of Vitesco Technologies executive board, head of electrification solutions division.
From traditional manufacturing in the 1990s to today’s digital production, manufacturing industry of TEDA has continuously upgraded, yielding fruitful results. TEDA has maintained a focus on building a strong manufacturing hub, and over the years, it has introduced numerous policies and measures to advance the construction of the central zone for advanced manufacturing research and development. This has led to the formation of a modern industrial system with distinct characteristics of TEDA. TEDA has been recognized as a national-level demo zone for neo-industrialization of four major industries: electronics and information technology, automobiles, petrochemicals, and biomedicine. This recognition has provided extensive development opportunities and industrial support for businesses. Furthermore, driven by next-gen information technologies such as 5G, AI, and big data, European enterprises have invested in several high-end intelligent manufacturing projects in TEDA. They are introducing cutting-edge intelligent technologies and solutions to TEDA, catering to the needs of the Chinese market.
In the process of adapting their products to the Chinese market, the investment of European companies in TEDA have increasingly emphasized a “Localization Strategy.” Starting from the localization of production, progressing to the localization of management, and today, focusing on innovation localization, they have expanded their investments in TEDA, integrating more deeply into the city. This integration is closely tied to TEDA’s comprehensive and efficient manufacturing ecosystem. TEDA boasts three hundred-billion-yuan industry clusters in autos and high-end equipment, next-gen information technology, and chemical new materials, as well as a fifty-billion-yuan healthcare industry cluster. With a strong industrial foundation, the presence of leading enterprises, and strong collaboration throughout the industrial supply chain, TEDA benefits from the accessibility provided by Tianjin Port and a well-connected network of highways and railways, enabling companies in TEDA to maintain smooth connections with the world. Furthermore, the abundant pool of highly skilled talents and well-trained workers serves as a crucial factor driving the continuous strengthening of European companies’ localization strategies in TEDA.
Volkswagen’s Localization Production Deepens Continuously
The localization process of an old friend, Volkswagen from Germany, is quietly gaining momentum. In the first half of this year, the new vehicle model project at the FAW-Volkswagen Tianjin branch, with a total investment of over 2 billion RMB, has commenced. The project lays foundation for the production of subsequent models. The Volkswagen APP550 electric vehicle drive motor project has also begun construction, signaling the continuous deepening of Volkswagen’s localization of electric vehicle components production. This will further drive Volkswagen’s electrification process in China.
Tianjin is Where Novo Nordisk Embarked on its Journey in China
In early 2023, Novo Nordisk’s Tianjin production plant held a groundbreaking ceremony for its finished product workshop expansion project. Following last year’s 500-million-yuan investment in the construction of a high-rise automated warehouse project, this century-old biopharmaceutical giant has made another significant move in TEDA. Zhou Xiaping, Novo Nordisk’s Global Senior Vice President and President of Greater China, stated, “Novo Nordisk has always been committed to advancing China’s high-quality development opportunities and upgrading the entire industry chain. Tianjin is where Novo Nordisk embarked on its journey in China. Leveraging the resources of Tianjin as an advanced manufacturing hub and this latest investment, Novo Nordisk hopes to further expand high-quality localization production.”
NXP Achieves New Breakthroughs in Localized Innovation
Having been developing in Tianjin for nearly 30 years, NXP’s localization strategy has expanded from production to the innovation level and continues to deepen in this field. NXP in Tianjin possesses a leading packaging and testing factory, along with a large-scale local research and development team. In 2021, they initiated the first phase of the AI Innovation Center - an Artificial Intelligence Application Demonstration Base. Recently, the second phase of the AI Innovation Center, the Artificial Intelligence Innovation Practice Platform, was officially launched. It aims to empower partners in local innovation through technical training and advanced research and development platforms. “Once again, we witness NXP’s determination and concrete actions to further cultivate the Chinese market and serve Chinese customers.” said the responsible person from TEDA.
TEDA’s European Network of Partners Continues to Expand
In TEDA, foreign investment projects not only find a stable home but also thrive. European companies, through continuous capital injection, have been expanding their production scales and improving their operational efficiency, attracting new investors to TEDA. Christoph Schrempp, Chairman of the Tianjin Chapter of the European Union Chamber of Commerce in China, mentioned that as China’s doors open wider and the business environment continues to improve, more and more EU companies are being drawn to explore new fields of cooperation and innovative partnership forms. This trend is increasingly evident in TEDA. Recently, Sinopec and INEOS signed a cooperation agreement, establishing Sinopec INEOS (Tianjin) Petrochemical Co., Ltd. with a 50%:50% share ratio, jointly operating the 1.2 million tons/year Tianjin Nangang ethylene project. European testing giant Applus+ is also set to establish its Northern China headquarters in TEDA.
In the current complex and challenging economic situation, these new partners investing in TEDA and considering it as a significant investment area reflect their recognition of TEDA’s investment environment. As one of the country’s best national-level development zones in terms of economic aggregate, comprehensive investment environment and globalization level, TEDA has established a robust hardware infrastructure and a standardized, international service e support system. With the support of policies from the Tianjin Pilot Free Trade Zone and the TEDA Comprehensive Bonded Zone, global capital pours in. As of the end of 2022, TEDA has attracted 6,416 foreign investment projects from 97 countries and regions, with actual utilized foreign investment totaling 68.281 billion USD. Among them, 117 Fortune Global 500 multinational companies have invested in 532 projects.
European companies are investing in and expanding their operations in TEDA. They are not only attracted to TEDA’s investment environment but also have confidence in and recognize TEDA’s advanced research and development manufacturing and green development efforts.
TEDA has consistently pursued a path of green and low-carbon development. Since introducing the concept of the circular economy in 2005, the development zone has continuously optimized its spatial layout, adjusted its industrial structure, and built a circular economy industrial chain. In 2010, the TEDA Low Carbon Economic Promotion Center was established as the first national service organization dedicated to promoting regional green development and international technological cooperation. It has formed a “green chain” for TEDA’s circular economy and provided professional services in the fields of green and international cooperation to more than 400 industrial parks across China. TEDA’s green development has gained momentum and has been recognized as one of the first three national-level eco-industrial parks, a national-level green park, and one of the first national-level circular economy pilot parks. TEDA provides a fertile ground for green manufacturing.
TEDA and Novozymes has signed a MoU on Strategic Cooperation for Green Development
This year, TEDA took proactive steps by organizing trade delegations to Europe for investment promotion. In Denmark, they signed a Memorandum of Understanding on Strategic Cooperation for Green Development with Novozymes, committing to jointly promote green, low-carbon, and sustainable development in TEDA. Among the projects that received increased investment this year, companies like FAW-Volkswagen, Vitesco Technologies, SEW and Novo Nordisk have all placed significant emphasis on green and low-carbon development. Their development philosophy aligns perfectly with TEDA’s plans for green, low-carbon urban development. In TEDA, they have found the space for green development. While continuously upgrading their production lines, these companies are also taking on their social responsibilities and guiding upstream and downstream enterprises in the industrial chain toward green production.
Looking ahead, how far can European companies go on the green path in TEDA? Christoph Schrempp, Chairman of the Tianjin Chapter of the European Union Chamber of Commerce in China, shares his insight that European companies have enormous potential for cooperation with Chinese partners, especially in the fields of green, low-carbon, and environmental protection. Both sides will continue to strengthen their collaboration.