China / Hotspot

A world-class business zone in Shanghai

By Tang Zhihao in Shanghai (China Daily) Updated: 2016-09-05 09:20

A world-class business zone in Shanghai

Industry players weigh in on the perks of setting up shop in the Hongqiao central business district

Located in the western part of Shanghai, the Shanghai Hongqiao central business district (CBD) is a popular business destination for companies who are keen to seize more opportunities in the Yangtze River Delta region and in China.

The CBD is a strategic development region in Shanghai that supports national strategies such as the Yangtze River Delta city cluster construction plan. The zone occupies an area of 86.6 square kilometers and its core area spans 4.7 sq km.

As of June 2016, more than 700 companies, including Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba, multinational oil and gas company Shell and compression technology company Hoerbiger, decided to set up their offices in the core area within the Hongqiao CBD, according to the Shanghai Hongqiao CBD Administrative Committee.

Hans-Georg Frey, Jungheinrich AG's chairman, decided to apply and push the process of basing the company's China headquarters in the CBD after he took a short walk and discovered how close the zone was to Hongqiao Airport and Hongqiao High-speed Railway Station.

The time required to travel on foot from the Hongqiao CBD to Hongqiao High-speed Railway Station and Hongqiao Airport is between 7 and 15 minutes. The travel time by rail from the Hongqiao transportation hub to 16 Yangtze River Delta cities, such as Hangzhou and Suzhou, takes less than an hour.

"I often visit clients in Hangzhou of Zhejiang province in the morning before meeting another client in Shanghai in the afternoon. I can do all this just by taking the train from Hongqiao CBD," said Wang Zhao, an employee of a trading company in Shanghai.

The transportation hub also provides flight, bus and subway services. More than 310 million people passed through the hub in 2015.

"Hongqiao CBD is the best gathering place for businesses because it is a world-class transportation hub, exhibition hub and business hub. This is why we chose Shanghai to be the development base for Jungheinrich," said Alexander Oezbahadir, general manager of Jungheinrich China.

More than 30 other companies, including New York-listed Vipshop and German automotive company KSPG AG, will be following in Jungheinrich's footsteps to set up headquarters or regional offices in the zone.

Established in 2009, the Hongqiao CBD has been a choice destination for many businesses because of its prime geographical location, a well-established transportation network and affordable business costs.

In addition, Hongqiao CBD enjoys strong support from the central and local governments which have designated the area as a modern service integrated pilot zone. Between 2012 and 2015, the Shanghai government provided a total of 2 billion yuan ($300.38 million) in funding support to the zone.

In May 2016, the vitality of the business district was greatly enhanced after the launch of a business, tourism and culture demonstration zone, as well as a new travel route in the core area. The decision-makers of Hongqiao CBD said that this demonstration zone will help with the development of the creative industries as well as meet the cultural demands of white-collar workers and local residents in the zone.

The Hongqiao CBD also has the capacity to host major exhibitions. The National Exhibition and Convention Center (Shanghai) occupies an area of 1.47 million square meters and is the world's largest single block building and exhibition complex by size. More than 40 exhibitions were held in the NECC in 2015.

A series of activities including exhibitions and concerts were organized in the CBD in the past few months, allowing visitors to learn more about Hongqiao CBD's advantages and development concepts.

One of the zone's key development concepts includes a focus on achieving low carbon emissions during their construction phase. All buildings within the CBD's core area have been certified with a two-star rating by the National Green Building Evaluation Standards, while more than 50 percent of the buildings have received three stars. Some buildings even have a Leadership in Energy and Environment Design qualification.

About 95 percent of the 352 buildings in the zone's core area will be completed by the end of 2016, according to the committee.

Because of this development concept, the Hongqiao CBD was recognized as a national-level green biological demonstration zone by China's Ministry of Housing and Urban-Rural Development in 2014.

Hongqiao CBD has since its inception launched 21 key supporting facilities with a total investment of 6.01 billion yuan. Construction of some of these projects, including underground walkways, have already been completed.

The first combined cooling, heating and power supply system in China has also been put into operation in the CBD, according to the Hongqiao CBD committee.



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