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Shanghai home to over 700 regional headquarters of multinational firms

Xinhua / Share:
An Aerial view of the Lujiazui area in Pudong of Shanghai. Xinhua

SHANGHAI (Xinhua) – A total of 701 multinational corporations have established regional headquarters in Shanghai by the end of August, according to the municipal commission of commerce.

Among them, 106 are headquarters for the Asia Pacific region, showing that the city is an important operation centre for many multinational corporations both in China and the Asia Pacific, the commission said.

The number of foreign-funded research and development (R&D) centres reached 451 by the end of August, with 10 newly launched in the first eight months of this year, it added.

Driven by the prosperous development of these headquarters, foreign investment into Shanghai has maintained fast growth, with 4,661 new foreign investment projects set up from January to August, up 47.8 percent year on year.

Shanghai has not only maintained steady growth in attracting foreign investment but also improved its investment structure. This shows that as an important part of China’s macroeconomy, the foreign investment economy is also moving toward high-quality development.

Shanghai has witnessed “double growth” in attracting foreign investment in the service sector and the manufacturing sector. From January to August, foreign investment in Shanghai’s service industry reached nearly $11.57 billion, up 13.3 percent year on year, accounting for 88.3 percent of the total foreign investment. Foreign investment in the manufacturing sector reached about $1.5 billion, up 14.7 percent over the same period last year, accounting for 11.4 percent of the total.

The business service industry has attracted the largest amount of foreign investment in Shanghai, with $3.83 billion in place during the first eight months this year.

Shanghai has been promoting the construction of a scientific and technological innovation centre with global influence over recent years. It has attracted foreign-funded enterprises to continuously increase their investment in the fields of electronics, biomedicine, R&D in artificial intelligence and related technical service enterprises.

In the first eight months of this year, foreign investment in Shanghai’s science and technology services sector reached $1.04 billion, a year-on-year increase of 186.4 percent.

German chemical giant BASF has opened its third co-creation centre in Asia in Shanghai, aiming to transform creative concepts into innovative solutions with Chinese customers.

Shanghai’s foreign-funded manufacturing sector is also upgrading. In the first eight months of this year, 19 manufacturing projects have received foreign investment exceeding $10 million, an increase of 60 percent over the same period last year. Foreign investment in high-tech manufacturing reached $599 million, accounting for 40 percent of the total foreign investment in Shanghai’s manufacturing sector.

Shanghai launched new policies last month to attract global enterprises, according to which the requirement for the total assets of parent companies of regional headquarters has been adjusted to $200 million.

To further facilitate R&D, Shanghai also plans to add renowned foreign trademarks that are vulnerable to infringement to the city’s key protection list, to provide better intellectual property protection services for the regional headquarters.

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