Foreign firms show confidence in Pudong

Xu Lingchao
World-class companies sign agreements with the Pudong New Area on Wednesday, either to set up new headquarters or to increase their investment. 
Xu Lingchao

Agreements with the Pudong New Area were signed by 21 foreign companies on Wednesday, with setting up new headquarters while others are increasing their investment.

The included Roche, Wyeth Nutrition, and online luxury fashion retail platform Farfetch.

Many have borne witness to the rapid development of the foreign trade economy of Pudong over the past few years, a key factor that attracted them to settle down or make new investments.

Qian Jin, operation director of Farfetch Asia which increased its investment, said the efficiency of delivering goods to customers is its lifeline.

Regulations state that people who spend between 5,000 and 26,000 yuan (US$702 and US$3,654) on cross-border online shops can enjoy fast customs clearance within seven days when goods arrive in China.

“But orders outside the range have to go through regular trade customs clearance which takes more time,” Qian said. Farfetch is working with Pudong now to find out ways of clearing customs faster.

Last year, the total volume of the import and export trade in cross-border e-commerce in Pudong was 1.98 billion yuan, more than 40 percent of the city’s total.

The volume of the first six months of this year was 1.5 billion, almost doubled compared with the same period last year.

Talent is another key factor attracting foreign investment to Pudong.

“Pudong has the best infrastructure I have seen in China, both physically and intellectually,” said Himanshu Chaturvedi, country head of Olam Shanghai Ltd, a multinational food and agri-business company from Singapore. “It’s easy for us to find the right talent here.”

Chaturvedi said Olam is very optimistic about the future of its business in Shanghai. “The policymakers always have a way to navigate the country’s economy out of difficulties which would strike a serious blow at many other countries around the world,” he said.

A district official told Shanghai Daily that more policies on opening up the market will be made in the future to maintain Pudong as an outstanding hub for international trade.

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