Sowing fertile seeds of industry to investors

The event titled "Join us in Putuo" was well attended by around 80 diplomats and officials from foreign consulates and organizations and  overseas companies.
Jiang Xiaowei / SHINE

Consulate officials and representative of foreign agencies watch the planning of the Taopu Smart City.

THE Shanghai Municipal Commission of Commerce and the Putuo District government recently held an appreciation reception and exchange seminar with overseas consulates, agencies and companies from abroad to further enhance the relationship and better promote Putuo to foreign investors.

The event titled “Join us in Putuo,” on November 22, along the Suzhou Creek, was well attended by around 80 diplomats and officials from 28 nations’ foreign consulates and nine organizations and representatives from 13 overseas companies. Putuo’s many advantages on location, space and scientific researches were discussed, said Zhou Minhao, chief of Putuo District, who began the seminar by introducing the history and economic development of the district.

Putuo covers 55.53 square kilometers downtown and features 17 major research institutes with national influence, such as the Shanghai Electrical Apparatus Research Institute (Group) Co and China Electronics Technology Group Corporation, as well as two major places of learning, the Tongji University and East China Normal University.

The district government has set aside 7.9 square kilometers of space on a former industrial site for the Taopu Smart City, which has attracted a swathe of scientific research institutes and universities, as well as functional platforms and scientific enterprises.

“The district will rely on its own advantages, adhere to the opening up and mutual benefit to build a new ‘open economy highland’ with a more open market, industrial gathering, active investment, innovative mechanism and optimized environment,” Zhou said.

Jiang Xiaowei / SHINE

Consulate officials and representative of foreign agencies visit the Yuan Dynasty Sluice Site Museum.

Putuo will actively participate in domestic and international economic exchanges and cooperation, promote the development of new industries, and constantly optimize the investment environment.

“We invite friends from all over of the world to participate in the new round of development and construction of Putuo and achieve a win-win situation,” Zhou told the foreign guests.

Putuo attracted a total of US$1.7 billion contractual foreign investment in 2016, increasing more than five times compared to the US$333 million boost in 2013.

Thirteen regional headquarters of multinational enterprises are now based in Putuo. A batch of outstanding foreign companies have helped Putuo to achieve four continuous years of double-digital increase on foreign investments.

“We see the commitment from the government to continue to have dialogue with investors from around the world,” Weldon Epp, consul general of Canada in Shanghai said. “We are very much with interests and anticipation to working with Shanghai, Putuo and national governments as plans shape up for the (China International Import) Expo next year.”

The first expo will be held at the National Exhibition and Convention Center (Shanghai) between November 5 and 10, 2018, says Yang Chao, deputy director with the city’s commission of commerce. Yang said the commission hopes the consulates general and foreign agencies can keep supporting Shanghai and Putuo as well as to attract the global power to join the development of the city and Putuo District.

“Over the past 21 years, Putuo has been our base camp,” said Jeroen de Groot, president of German wholesaler Metro Cash & Carry Co, the winner of the city government’s Magnolia Gold Award this year who represents foreign companies based in Putuo on the seminar. “The government of Putuo has always been very supportive to our business strategies and actions. It has always provided timely support through its policies and efficient daily work.”

Before the seminar, the consulate officials and representative of foreign agencies visited the Yuan Dynasty Sluice Site Museum and the planning exhibition center of the Taopu Smart City.

The museum at 619 Yanchang Road W. features the well-preserved historic sluice for the Suzhou Creek, dating back to the Yuan Dynasty (1271-1368). The sluice is composed of a gate, dams and the river bed stones. The sluice relic lies roughly from west to east as the creek once flowing from Northwest to Southeast.

Jiang Xiaowei / SHINE

Putuo District chief Zhou Minhao gives a speech at a forum  to promote the district to foreign investors. It is part of the “Join us in Putuo” event during which diplomats, officials and representatives from foreign consulates, organizations and overseas companies were shown around Putuo to see places.

“I’m surprised on the unique way of its construction and how everything has preserved for people to see,” said Kostadin Djatev, commercial consul of the Consulate General of Bulgaria in Shanghai. “It is very important to preserve the history and culture.”

A few Bulgarian companies are based in Putuo, including a company trading Bulgarian wines and roses to China. They are happy and enjoy the business environment of the district, Djatev added.

The exhibition hall, of the under-construction Taopu Smart City, is renovated from the Soviet-style historic Hero Pen Factory, which features the different industrial building layouts of the city between the 1950s and 1990s.

Taopu was among the first batch of chemical industrial parks in Shanghai. Set up in 1954, its development of industrial enterprises was at its peak in the 1980s when Hero pens and locally produced perfumes became popular merchandise in Shanghai. However, rapid industrial development not only brought about economic growth but environmental pollution as well.

The future Taopu Smart City, covering 4.2 square kilometers in the core area, aims to reflect the advanced concepts of in-depth integration of the urban life and production with low-carbon and ecologic living environment.

It plans to host a population of about 29,000 people, with a total construction area of 4.28 million square meters, based on the target positioning of “Integration of Innovation, Artificial Intelligence, and Intelligent Manufacturing.”

To restore the park’s environment, the district plans to create a large greenery park within the scientific zone covering a square kilometer. It is expected to become the largest downtown green land area.

The design of the Taopu green area is inspired by Hyde Park in London and Central Park in New York. It will also incorporate traditional Chinese cultural ideas such as painting, calligraphy, dance and tai chi.

“Putuo District and the Taopu Smart City will become a model for Shanghai and any good living place with very advanced environment and technology,” said Naeem Khan, Consul General of Pakistan in Shanghai. “We are learning the experience and hope this project can be replicated in our country.”

“The transformation of the Taopu area is very impressive. It has very significant history of the old industrial area and now will become the smart city to showcase the prestige of Shanghai,” said Chandra Hasan, the consul and minister counselor of the Consulate General of Indonesia in Shanghai.

“It is my first time to Putuo, and I really like to go back to the Taopu area again two or three years later to see what become of it,” said Agnes Karteszi, commercial consul of the Consulate General of Hungary in Shanghai.

Special Reports