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Shanghai unveils policies to bolster foreign investment, lift development

By Shi Jing, He Wei and Wang Ying in Shanghai | China Daily | Updated: 2020-04-11 10:16
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A pedestrian walks through Shanghai's financial hub. [Photo/Xinhua]

The two sets of policies released in Shanghai on Friday for attracting foreign investment and stabilizing economic development have reiterated the municipal government's resolve to further stimulate the economy amid renewed confidence on recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.

A total of 24 new policies took effect on Friday in a bid to further improve the city's business environment and attract more foreign investors.

The measures are introduced to implement the country's deepened opening-up policies, step up investment promotion, make business opportunities more accessible to foreign investors and better protect their legal rights, said the municipal government.

In specific, the city will support foreign investors to enter the industries stressed in the country's new round of opening-up. Finance and new energy vehicles are likely to be the sectors seeing the first breakthroughs.

More efforts will be made to further open up the China (Shanghai) Pilot Free Trade Zone, especially its newly launched Lingang Special Area. Telecommunications, science and technology services, education and healthcare will be the industries in the limelight for further opening-up.

An easier cross-border capital flow has also been included in the newly unveiled policies so that foreign companies can expand their business operations in China with funds raised overseas.

Meanwhile, Shanghai will perfect the mechanism for foreign investors to file complaints and better protect their legal rights. Heavier penalties will be imposed on those who have significantly infringed upon foreign companies' intellectual property rights.

Shanghai stands out as an investment axis given its unremitting commitment to opening-up, innovation and service-oriented sentiment, said Jiang Ying, China vice-chair of global consultancy Deloitte.

"It took us less than two weeks to get regulatory approval for setting up a new subsidiary in China, a strong indication of streamlined government procedures to facilitate business operations," Jiang said, adding the new measures unveiled on Friday are set to further unlock locally-inspired research and development potential and attract foreign enterprises.

The Shanghai government has also released 20 policies to expand effective investment and stabilize economic development.

The policies covered four major areas, including pressing ahead with the construction resumption of key projects, expand the effective government investment, further stimulate social investment and optimize the overall investment environment.

According to Wang Kouzhu, inspector of the Shanghai Municipal Development and Reform Commission, there are 152 major projects planned in Shanghai this year, with the total investment reaching 2 trillion yuan ($284 billion). Meanwhile, the local government will help provide low interest rate loans to strategic emerging industries including integrated circuits, artificial intelligence and biomedicine, he said.

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