The Port of Taicang is located on the coast in Jiangsu Province, China. The Port of Taicang became a leading port during China's Three Kingdoms Period in the Third Century AD. The Port of Taicang is about 33 nautical miles (57 kilometers or 36 miles) southeast of the Port of Nantong. Part of the Yangtze River System, the Port of Taicang is just 38 nautical miles (55 kilometers or 34 miles) northwest of the Port of Shanghai. The Port of Taicang is a county-level city under the jurisdiction of Suzhou, the prefecture-level city. In 2008, the population of the Port of Taicang was 466.3 thousand.
Historically, the economy of the Port of Taicang was based on farming. Local farmers produced rice, oil seed, cotton, livestock, and aquatic products. However, in the last couple of decades, the importance of agriculture to the city's economy has decreased. In 2006, farming accounted for only 6.6% of the city's GDP. Investments in the Yangtze River Delta have increased the Port of Taicang's industrialization and economic expansion, and industrial income has been increasing about 20% per year. The Port of Taicang has become one of China's outstanding county-level cities.
Meaning "Great Granary" in Mandarin Chinese, many granaries were constructed to store rice and grain in the Port of Taicang from the Third Century AD. By the 12th Century AD, the ancient city grew to include a military base, and the local government built streets, town walls, and moats to protect the Port of Taicang.
During the Yuan Dynasty (13th and 14th Centuries), the Port of Taicang was considered by many to be the world's leading port. Explorer and diplomat Zheng He started his famous voyages to the Middle East, Somalia, Swahili Coast, and South and Southeast Asia from the Port of Taicang in the early 15th Century.
Located in the South Jiangsu Plain, the Port of Taicang is near the mouth of the Yangtze River. Almost a third of the Port of Taicang's surface is covered by fresh water. In recent years, many of the investment projects along the river have focused on controlling and abating environmental pollution. The local Port of Taicang government has implemented rigorous environmental policies and invested significant amounts in environmental protection.
In 1991, the Taicang Economic Development Zone was created. Covering 80 square kilometers (almost 30 square miles), the economic zone is about 20 kilometers (12.4 miles) from downtown Shanghai. Since it was established, German companies have sponsored more than one thousand projects related to automobile parts, machinery, and electronics in the Port of Taicang Economic Development Zone.