Foreign companies rushing to invest

Huang Yixuan
 Shanghai sees 38 major projects signed on Thursday with a total investment value exceeding US$7 billion. 
Huang Yixuan

A batch of 38 major foreign-funded projects with a total investment value of 49.2 billion yuan (US$7.1 billion) was signed in Shanghai on Thursday.

Also this morning, Pfizer Upjohn, a division of Pfizer mainly focusing on generic drugs, launched its global headquarter in Shanghai, the first multinational drug company to place its main office in China.

The foreign-funded projects cover various fields that include real estate, insurance, silicon industry, food, cosmetics, automobiles, securities, biomedicine and retail.

These companies are from the United States, Germany, France, Canada, Japan as well as Hong Kong and Taiwan.

German chemical company BASF SE is to invest 3 billion yuan to upgrade its BASF innovation center to enhance services for customers in the automobile and chemical new materials industries in the Asia-Pacific region.

Hershey's, one of the world's largest chocolate manufacturers, is investing US$200 million in expanding its business in China.

JP Morgan is investing 800 million yuan to set up the first foreign-controlled securities company in China, while Germany's Allianz Insurance will invest 10 billion yuan to establish of China's first fully-owned foreign insurance holding company.

So far this year, the number of new foreign capital projects, the value of contract foreign capital and actual foreign capital have all shown double-digit growth, according to the Shanghai Commission of Commerce.

From January to April, 2,051 new foreign investment projects were launched, surging by 52.3 percent from a year earlier. The contract value of foreign investment totaled US$17.586 billion, up 21.3 percent year on year, while the actual foreign investment value added up to US$6.21 billion, an increase of 20.5 percent from the same period last year.

The commission highlighted the robust growth of foreign investment in business services, commerce and trade, and high-tech services.

In the first four months of the year, foreign investment in the service sector totaled US$5.768 billion, up 19.5 percent year on year and accounting for 92.9 percent of overall actual foreign investment. 

Among them, business services and the trade sector posted steady growth with foreign investment in real terms reaching US$2.337 billion and US$607 million, respectively, up 9.1 percent and 11.6 percent year on year. The high-tech service sector also grew at a fast pace, of which the foreign investment reached US$1.025 billion, an increase of 30.6 percent. 

Investment in education, medical care, culture and sports has also been on the rise since the beginning of this year, reaching a total of US$155 million to account for 2.7 percent of foreign investment in the service sector.

From January to April, 13 regional headquarters, seven Asia-Pacific headquarters, and six research and development centers had been newly set up in Shanghai.

By the end of April, Shanghai had accumulatively introduced 683 regional headquarters, 95 Asia-Pacific regional headquarters and 447 R&D centers in the city.

The top 10 countries and regions investing in Shanghai (in terms of actual foreign capital) were Hong Kong, Japan, Singapore, British Virgin Islands, Cayman Islands, Austria, France, Spain, Germany and the United States, together posting the total investment of US$5.587 billion, accounting for 90 percent of the headline figure. 

Driven by major projects, Hong Kong's investment jumped 31.6 percent in January-April from a year earlier to US$4.217 billion, while Japan has invested US$396 million, a three-fold increase on the figure for the same period last year.

Foreign investment in Shanghai by the countries along the "Belt and Road" totaled US$249 million, down 32.8 percent year on year, mainly due to a 37 percent drop in Singapore investment.

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