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Shanghai to attract big foreign capital

By HE WEI in Shanghai | China Daily | Updated: 2020-07-16 07:19
Tourists enjoy the view at the Bund in Shanghai, on Jan 6, 2020. [Photo/Xinhua]

The municipal government of Shanghai has rolled out a series of policy measures this year to stabilize foreign capital, and help businesses engaged in foreign trade cope with economic uncertainties.

The city, which is home to some 730 regional or China headquarters of multinational corporations, has come out with a 24-point circular to promote, facilitate and protect foreign investment.

The measures were 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, according to the municipal government.

Specifically, the city will help foreign investors to enter industries emphasized in the country's new round of opening-up, with the finance and new energy vehicle sectors likely to see the first breakthroughs.

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

"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 that the new measures unveiled on Friday are set to further unlock local research and development potential and attract foreign enterprises.

To attend to the specific needs of MNCs, Shanghai's Commission of Commerce also kicked off a two-week survey in the first half of this year on foreign enterprises based in the city in a bid to help them better resume operations and attend to any unmet needs in the midst of the novel coronavirus outbreak.

Together with counterpart agencies in 16 districts, the commission has carried out comprehensive investigations on MNCs with headquarters in China, as well as widened the reach of the research to over 50,000 foreign companies in the city.

A total of 17 task groups are assigned to collect information, sort out key issues, solve current problems in a timely fashion, and take long-term improvement into account.

They have solicited 553 questions from the tour and resolved over 98.7 percent of the issues reported by foreign companies.

It is not just the companies with major manufacturing bases that are enjoying these perks. The Shanghai office of MSL, a public relations agency, was provided with a package of accommodation subsidies for its employees who suffered losses in rent owing to travel restrictions when the pandemic was severe.

"The Putuo district officials (in Shanghai) have been very helpful, attending to our most pressing needs two days before the resumption of work," said Liza Zhang, general manager of MSL Shanghai.

The metropolis continued to be a hotbed attracting key foreign investment projects. The metropolis saw 1,500 new product debuts from 300 brands during the May 5 shopping festival spanning May and June. Foreign retailers ranging from L'Oreal to Lego all made global debuts of their offerings during the occasion.

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