Foreign investment flocks to Shanghai

The city's policies to support foreign investment are paying off handsomely.

Shanghai posted rapid growth in attracting foreign funds in January 2019, with the number of new foreign-funded projects jumping 69.1 percent year on year to 563 in the month.

Total contracted foreign investment in Shanghai surged 197.6 percent to US$10.97 billion, and the actual use of foreign capital rose 33.5 percent to US$1.422 billion, according to data from Shanghai Commission of Commerce.

The robust development of foreign investment in January was boosted by the rapid growth in the foreign-funded services industry, the commission said.

In January, the services sector saw 552 foreign-funded projects newly launched in the city, posting the actual foreign investment of US$1.284 billion, an increase of 24.8 percent over the same period last year. The sector accounted for 90.3 percent of the overall foreign investment to be the main force for growth.

The commercial services industry received US$645 million of foreign investment, an increase of 66.5 percent from a year earlier, accounting for 45.4 percent, while the science and technology services industry attracted US$146 million up 263.8 percent to account for 10.3 percent. The real estate sector and trade were also among the major areas of investment.

The manufacturing sector also saw actual foreign investment surge 315.7 percent to US$126 million, accounting for 8.8 percent of the total.

The manufacturing sector also saw two mega projects: Sisal Chemical received US$58.37 million, and the newly-set-up BH SENS company posted an actual use of US$16.91 million.

Meanwhile, Shanghai witnessed the establishment of four new regional headquarters by multinational corporations, two new foreign investment companies and two more foreign-funded research and development centers. 

By the end of January, a total of 674 regional headquarters of multinational corporations had been set up in Shanghai, among which there were 90 Asia Pacific headquarters.

Shanghai's efforts in optimizing the business environment and enhancing the efficiency of government services were the major driving force for the surge of foreign investment in January, the commission said.

For the year 2018, the city launched a total of 5,567 foreign-funded projects, 41.7 percent higher than the previous year, with the support of the preferential policies Shanghai has released, including the city's "100 measures" aimed at promoting opening-up and making breakthroughs in introducing new foreign investment.

The contractual foreign investment and the actual use posted US$46.937 billion and US$17.3 billion, respectively, up by 16.8 percent and 1.7 percent year on year.

In 2019, the city's commerce commission will continue to organize round tables on government-enterprise cooperation to increase face-to-face communication between government authorities and foreign investors.

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