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Swiss company sees development opportunities in Haimen city


Updated: 2020-05-19

A major Swiss company has said it sees golden development opportunities in the county-level city of Haimen, Nantong, East China's Jiangsu province, according to a senior executive of the group.

"Since we started in 2002, Basilea Pharmaceutica China has maintained a stable development, thanks to support from the Haimen and Nantong governments," said Zhou You, general manager of the Swiss-funded company, in an interview with the Voice of Nantong.

The company, located in the Haimen Economic and Technological Development Zone, is the only research and development center of its parent company outside Switzerland. 

It has played a key role in the parent company's R&D into new antibacterial, antifungal and anticancer drugs, which have been sold in more than 100 countries.

"Foreign investors were deeply impressed by preferential policies and high work efficiency of the Haimen government. So they made the decision to set up operations here very soon," said Zhou.

"It took less than two months to register the company and buy land, which usually requires half a year or even more."

Haimen was among the first cities in Jiangsu province to introduce incentives for skilled workers, including offering subsidies to those with master's degree and doctorates and solving educational problems for the children of overseas staff, which proved helpful for the talent-intensive company in recruitment.

The Swiss company's R&D department currently has 60 workers at an average age of 36. More than 70 percent of them hold master's degrees or higher. 

"Most of our employees are not locals. But they have found the city a lovely place to live,"  Zhou said.

Since the company settled down in Haimen, a group of other companies in the pharmaceutical industrial supply chain have followed.

Officials said that given the advance transport networks and opportunities brought about by the integrated development of the Yangtze River Delta region, more foreign-funded companies are expected to set up operations in the city.