City awards HQ certificates

Huang Yixuan
Shanghai boosts its foreign investment as it welcomes a new batch of 25 regional headquarters and 11 research and development centers of 35 transnational enterprises .
Huang Yixuan

Shanghai on Wednesday awarded certificates to a new batch of 25 regional headquarters and 11 research and development centers of 35 transnational enterprises.

The city, in making efforts to boost foreign investment, has laid emphasis on attracting transnational companies to set up their regional headquarters and R&D centers in Shanghai.

By the end of October, it had introduced 710 regional headquarters (among which 114 were Asia Pacific headquarters), and 453 R&D centers, to retain its place as the city with the most regional headquarters and R&D centers on the Chinese mainland.

The regional headquarters of multinational companies in Shanghai have been continuously expanding their functions and increasing their contributions to the economy and society, according to the city's commerce commission.

According to the 2018 annual report of foreign-invested enterprises, regional headquarters of transnational companies, while only accounting for less than 2 percent of the total number of foreign enterprises in the city, had contributed 10 percent of overall operating income, 17 percent of total profit, 12 percent of total tax payments and more than 6 percent of the number of employees.

Since 2002, the city has awarded certificates to one or two batches of regional headquarters of transnational corporations every year.  

Of the 35 companies, 24 were investors from the manufacturing sector, accounting for about 70 percent, including seven firms engaged in the city's three major strategic emerging industries. Among the other 11 enterprises in the services sector, four were in shipping logistics, two were information technology firms and two in commercial trade.

Among the 35 companies were three Global Fortune 500 enterprises — Itochu Corp from Japan, Coca-Cola Co from the US, and Quanta Computer from Taiwan — as well as 11 industry leaders such as American chemical company Huntsman Corp and Italian company RINA S.p.A. (Registro Italiano Navale).

"Itochu is the Japanese company with the heaviest investment in China, as we have already invested 800 billion Japanese yen (US$7.4 billion) in China," said Hidefumi Mizutani, vice president of Itochu East Asia Bloc.

"We have collaborated with several Chinese companies and expect to build partnerships with more local enterprises, so as to jointly expand our markets in the Belt and Road regions," Mizutani said.

Olivier Lorans, general manager of Deckers Footwear (Shanghai) Co which is the APAC headquarters of American enterprise Deckers Outdoor Corp, said that it saw Shanghai as an international and fashionable city, and expected to double its business in China in the next five to six years.

Huntsman, to date, has invested 15 billion yuan (US$2 billion) in China. Relying on its APAC regional headquarters in Shanghai, it will make further efforts to boost the development of the polyurethane industry in China and the Asia-Pacific market, according to Kenny Pan, vice president of Huntsman Polyurethanes Division for the Asia Pacific region.

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