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Business opportunities in Beijing and Shanghai showcased in London

By XING YI in London | chinadaily.com.cn | Updated: 2024-06-15 04:56
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A view of Beijing's Central Business District in Chaoyang District. [Photo/VCG]

China's top two cities, Beijing and Shanghai, held promotional conferences in the City of London this week, with delegations presenting investment and business opportunities to companies in the United Kingdom.

The event showcasing the business environment of the country's capital city was held on Tuesday by Beijing Investment Promotion Service Center, together with officials from four districts of the capital city.

Zhu Sheng, deputy director of the Beijing Investment Promotion Service Center, introduces the investment opportunities in Beijing. [Xing Yi / chinadaily.com.cn]

Zhu Sheng, deputy director of the center, said Beijing's regional GDP reached 4.4 trillion yuan ($618.26 billion) in 2023, up 5.2 percent year-on-year, and welcomed the establishment of 1,729 foreign-funded enterprises last year.

Beijing has been committed to high-quality opening up, and last month, a new regulation was passed to optimize the foreign investment environment, Zhu said.

He added that the capital is the only city in China designated as both the national comprehensive demonstration zone for expanding openness in the service sector and the national free trade pilot zone.

A view of the Lujiazui financial area and Suzhou Creek in Shanghai. [Photo/VCG]

Invest Shanghai, the municipal government's overseas investment development agency, held another promotional event for the coastal city on Thursday.

Zhang Guohua, deputy director of the Shanghai Commission of Commerce, said that by the end of last year, Shanghai was home to 956 regional headquarters of multinational corporations and 561 foreign-funded R&D centers.

Zhang Guohua, deputy director of the Shanghai Commission of Commerce, speaks about the advantages of Shanghai. [Xing Yi / chinadaily.com.cn]

He also emphasized the city's commitment to building a market-oriented and law-based business environment.

The conference featured businesspeople sharing their first-hand experiences in Shanghai.

Jack Perry Jr, chairman of the 48 Group Club, recalled his experience doing business in Shanghai nearly twenty years ago. He said: "Why invest in Shanghai? Simply put, the city is a great gateway to China's vast market, a test bed for innovation and a hub for international finance. The business opportunities are endless, from technology and healthcare to renewable energy and consumer goods.

Jack Perry Jr, chairman of the 48 Group Club, recalls his experience of doing business in Shanghai. [Xing Yi / chinadaily.com.cn]

"Moreover, the local government is incredibly supportive for foreign investments, offering incentives and streamlining processes for setting up businesses like we did back in 2006."

Rachel Evans, representative for GINA Shoes, said the luxury designer footwear brand opened its first store in Shanghai last year. By leveraging the power of online influencers, the brand's social media posts featuring its signature Barbie shoes gained millions of views and engagements.

Rachel Evans, business development representative for GINA Shoes, speaks about the brand's marketing strategy on Chinese social media. [Xing Yi / chinadaily.com.cn]

"It definitely proves that Shanghai is an excellent stepping stone to open the door into the Chinese market. So we hope to see you in Shanghai, and we aim to work with everyone to further establish the brand in China through Shanghai," said Evans.

The two conferences were hosted at the London office of Dentons law firm. Representatives from the China-Britain Business Council, and the China Council for the Promotion of International Trade also participated in the event.

Lise Bertelsen, executive director of the China-Britain Business Council, speaks at the promotional event of Shanghai in London on Thursday. [Xing Yi / chinadaily.com.cn]
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