City's free trade zone launches global program

Li Xinran
Global Operation Program aims to take market players to a global level and enhance the role that the free trade zone plays as an important hub, channel and platform.
Li Xinran

Shanghai’s free trade zone launched a Global Operation Program (GOP) on Wednesday to help enterprises in the zone become global operators.

The long-term project was initiated by the Waigaoqiao Bonded Area Administration and local enterprises.

“Global operator” refers to high-level headquarters that cover at least two continents and are involved in trade, investment, distribution or R&D.

The project aims to gather high-level market players, talent and global funds, help enterprises to expand to new markets, increase growth and strengthen their functional level, consolidate and enhance the role that the free trade zone plays as an important hub, channel and platform, and cultivate a group of high quality enterprises with global resources in trade, investment, supply chains and R&D in three to five years.

In five to 10 years the aim is to cultivate a group of leading global enterprises, occupy an overall leadership position in their fields, and form a leading demonstration effect in the country and even the world.

The program will alter the previous one-way support where the government issued supportive policies. In line with the needs of each member enterprise, the government and enterprises will negotiate to form a “1 plus x” package where “1” is professional service and “x” is support for enterprises’ development.

Member enterprises will get a 24/7 butler service and tailored support. Based on the actual needs of enterprises, the free trade zone has customized an exclusive support scheme of “one enterprise, one policy” for them, covering but not limited to investment and trade, capital settlement, employment and information.

The program also supports enterprises to take trade as their core business, add strategic decision-making functions such as procurement and sales, investment management and capital settlement, and extend functions to both ends of the value chain of the industrial chain by using various policies to expand business in the Asia Pacific region and around the world, and promote further upgrading of the value of enterprises and the industrial chain.

A GOP advisory think tank with international vision will be established. In line with international rules, it will take the lead in implementing the relevant opening measures of the RCEP (Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership), benchmarking and accelerating the practice of high standard terms the CPTPP (Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership), comprehensively combing the industrial chain, value chain and innovation chain, focusing on the difficulties in the development of enterprises, and breaking ice in key links and fields, seeking best solutions, working together to solve “bottleneck” problems and creating a first-class business environment of “no business that cannot be done.”

The program currently has 41 member companies, including Panasonic Global Procurement (China) Co, Ltd.

Satoshi Takada, president of the company, told Shanghai Daily that previously the word “global” could only be used by the relevant departments of Panasonic’s procurement headquarters in Japan.

“Now it is added to the name of our company registered in China. The change of the name this year will clarify our company’s global procurement position within the Panasonic Corporation.

“In the future, our company will make full use of our comprehensive advantages in the Shanghai Free Trade Zone to launch global procurement, play a leading role in the global business development of Panasonic Corporation and further expand our import and export business in 27 countries and regions in Asia, Europe, South America and North America,” Takada said.

Meanwhile, Maximilian Josef Helmut Foerst, president of Carl Zeiss IMT (Shanghai) Co Ltd, said that in the 2019/20 fiscal year, his company’s revenue reached 8 billion yuan (US$1.23 billion), making China’s market exceed the United States and Germany as Zeiss group’s largest market.

Also a member of the program, the company’s business in China is growing rapidly, achieving double-digit growth for 10 consecutive years.

“By the end of 2019, we have gradually transferred our offshore business from Hong Kong to the Waigaoqiao Bonded Area,” Foerst said.

“In the next stage, we will give full play to the yuan internationalization to take an active part in both domestic and international markets.

“One of the visions of our new five-year plan (2021-2025) is to shape China's internal and external markets, which also shows our ambition to make Zeiss China a global market shaper and innovation leader.”

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