Authorities plan to triple the number of companies setting up headquarters in Shanghai over the next five years, the city's economic planning body said at the weekend.
Shanghai, which is home to more than 300 domestic listed companies, 180 foreign firms' regional headquarters, 160 overseas-funded investment companies and 244 multinationals' R&D centers, is expected to grow the total number to 3,000 by 2013, as it aspires to develop the "headquarters economy", the Shanghai Economic Commission said.
To this end, the financial hub will make improving the investment environment a priority, lower commercial costs, develop a premium talent pool, and make breakthrough in household and land policies, among a number of measures it proposes to take, it said.
The city is also looking to extend the headquarters economy belt, largely consisting of commercial circles such as Lujiazui, Huaihai Road, Nanjing Road and Xujiahui, to remoter areas including Putuo district, it said.
Meanwhile, large multinational companies continuously expand their market presence in China, and many are moving their Asian-Pacific headquarters and R&D centers to China.
In the latest move, the British Standard Chartered Bank, one of the largest foreign banks in China, opened Standard Chartered Tower in the Shanghai Lujiazui Finance and Trade Zone, housing the headquarters of Standard Chartered China as well as part of its Shanghai Branch operations.
"After years of efforts, the city has formed the golden belt for developing modern service industry, which gathers more than 70 percent of the city's headquarters economy," Jin Xingming, deputy director of the Shanghai Economic Commission, said.
But the city has to compete both internally with domestic, mainland rivals such as Beijing and Tianjin and, on the international stage, with regional hubs such as Singapore and Hong Kong when attracting these entities, which boost the local economy, create jobs and enhance city's competency, he said.
To fend off the competition, the municipal government is studying how to develop the modern services industry, lower commercial cost and enhance efficiencies of governmental agencies, he said.
"Currently, Shanghai is researching new policies to lure talented people," Jin said.
"There will be also remarkable breakthrough on the household policies," he said without providing any details.