Huangpu moves to lure foreign ventures to Bund

Yang Jian
The district government has released a bundle of a dozen policies aimed at helping revitalize the area that was once a major financial center in East Asia.
Yang Jian

Huangpu District yesterday released a bundle  of 12 policies to attract foreign financial firms to the Bund, the city's century-old financial hub.

The strategy includes providing "bespoke" services to foreign companies in an effort to revitalize the area, which was a major financial center in East Asia for foreign banks and financial institutions early in the last century.

The Bund financial cluster, a 2.6-square-kilometer riverside region along Huangpu River, had 44 foreign financial institutions from 19 countries at the end of 2017, accounting for 11 percent of the city's total. Most of the city's financial firms are based in the Lujiazui financial hub in Pudong across the river.

"The district government will offer bespoke services to each foreign financial firm based on their demands," said Wang Jun, deputy director with the district's finance office.

The policies are part of Shanghai's efforts to further open up its financial sector to foreign capital and encourage foreign banks, securities firms, insurance companies and other financial institutions to base on themselves in the Bund district.

The district government will offer support in various areas, including opening up business, office rental, development awards and services to attract and keep foreign talent.

Those who help bring foreign financial companies to the Bund area will also be rewarded by the district government.

The new guidelines encourage companies already based in Huangpu to join a trial of policies issued by the city government for the Pudong free trade zone and which are now being promoted and copied elsewhere.

The strategy also includes protecting and developing the Bund's historical buildings, especially those two and three roads back from the river, and converting them into office space.

The district has also prepared apartments for foreign talents along with preferential policies on visa applications, entry and exit permits, international schools medical services and cultural services to attract and keep the overseas financial professionals,

Shanghai has introduced 100 new measures as it continues to play a leading role in the latest opening-up efforts of China.

Under the measures announced by the city government in July, Shanghai will encourage foreign investment in the advanced manufacturing sector and push forward reforms in the automobile, aircraft and shipbuilding industries.

"Shanghai is the leading financial hub in China and the government's support will make our business operate more smoothly," said Shinichi Mizuno, senior managing director and deputy head of the China committee of Nomura Holdings Inc, Japan's biggest securities company and which has applied to set up a foreign-controlled securities joint venture in the city.

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