Huangpu District offers subsidies to lure foreign regional headquarters

H&M from Sweden, Germany's Puma and France's Sephora picked to receive generous subsidies.

Shanghai's Huangpu District launches preferential policies including generous subsidies to encourage foreign businesses to set up regional headquarters there.

Foreign companies, especially trading firms and research and development centers from abroad, who set up offices in the downtown district can receive subsidies for housing and other expenses, the district government said today. 

The district government today chose five foreign firms, which set up regional bases in Huangpu, to be part of the scheme. They include popular clothing brands H&M from Sweden and Puma from Germany as well as French cosmetics giant Sephora.

These companies can receive 300,000 yuan (US$47,758) in subsidies for each franchise they open across China.

To enhance the attractiveness of the district, Huangpu also promised to offer simplified administrative procedures and set up efficient one-stop services to cater to the foreign companies.

Huangpu aims to revive its former glory as the birthplace of China's early industries and main focal point of foreign investments, said Gao Yun, Party secretary and director of the district. Numerous foreign banks and companies once set up offices on the Bund and in other areas within the district in the early 19th century.

Huangpu has drawn 2,500 foreign companies which invested a total of US$20 billion in the district. Forty-two multinational companies have set up regional headquarters in Huangpu, according to the district government.

Shanghai houses 630 regional headquarters and 420 R&D centers from abroad, according to the city's commission of commerce.

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