Multinationals flock to Shanghai
( 2003-09-01 09:24) (China Daily)
Two Fortune Global 500 companies are the latest among a growing number of international corporations relocating their regional headquarters to Shanghai.
During the past three months, the United States technology and manufacturing firm Honeywell moved its Singapore-based Asia-Pacific corporate headquarters to Shanghai; and German chip giant Infineon relocated its Hong Kong-based regional head office to the eastern port city.
Shanghai's success dovetails with the city's ambitions of becoming the country's international economic, finance, trade and shipping centre within one to two decades.
International companies are attracted by the city's rising economic status, as well as preferential governmental policies.
Since the beginning of this year, Shanghai government has certificated 16 regional headquarters of international corporations and the total figure has climbed to 41, the largest number of any city on the Chinese mainland, according to the latest statistics from the Shanghai Foreign Investment Commission.
A few other Fortune Global 500 companies, including BASF, the world's leading chemical company, have also decided to move their Asia-Pacific headquarters to Shanghai later this year, according to commission sources.
"Hopefully, the figure (of certificated regional headquarters) will exceed 50 by the end of this year," said Pan Longqing, director of the commission.
Shanghai's well-established international financial and trading services, as well as its close connections with the massive domestic market, will help multinational companies better capitalize on the growth opportunities in China, Pan said at a regular press conference by the municipal government on Wednesday.
Pan's commission earlier this year released a series of new preferential policies, covering finance, personnel and exports, to further encourage more international businesses to set up their regional headquarters in Shanghai.
Under the new Regulation on the Establishment of Multinationals' Regional headquarters in Shanghai, the city government encourages commercial banks in Shanghai to sign co-operation agreements with international companies to help in capital settlement between their Shanghai-based headquarters and the branches across the country.
Meanwhile, the city government gives a green light on the entry and exit to foreign staff at the Shanghai-based regional headquarters.
Under the regulation, ordinary foreign employers of regional headquarters in Shanghai can apply for a special multiple-entry visa valid for one year, with an even five-year valid visa for senior executives and technicians.
Multinationals' regional headquarters in Shanghai, based on holding companies, can gain an import and export right, with their exports enjoying tax refunding.
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