Forum held to discuss the development of Shanghai's 'four brands'

Experts, representatives and political advisers gathered at a forum on Sunday to discuss how to develop Shanghai's four brands: manufacturing, service, shopping and culture.

Experts, industrial representatives and political advisers gathered at a forum on Sunday to discuss how to develop Shanghai's four brands: manufacturing, services, shopping and culture.

Wang Huimin, a local political adviser and chairwoman of the Tansh Global Food Group Co, said the catering industry had much to do to support the city government’s decision to develop the four brands.

“There are still limited world-class catering brands in Shanghai as a paradise for shopping or consumption,” she said. “We do not lack expensive brands. We lack first-class brands that are of high quality and affordable for the public.”

Wang believes that the industry needs to develop new catering service models and gather more international brands to promote leading trends in the industry, and improve customer enjoyment and satisfaction.

She also suggested the government introduce a monitoring scheme to award or subsidize outstanding brands, while getting tough with brands that have inferior products or poor credit records.

As the president of Shanghai Restaurants Cuisine Association, Wang said the association has been encouraging time-honored brands to revitalize with innovation.

Chen Huwen, chairman of Shanghai M&G Stationery Inc, supported her idea by sharing the story of his company.

Chen said his brand experienced challenges due to changes in lifestyle and consumption habits. But it survived and thrived after a brand development strategy introducing products that promote a creative life, rather than mere stationery.

Shao Yuting, another political adviser, said cultural creation and innovative shopping experiences are also an important part of new retail models that feature new technology, fast service and digitization.

Wang Xinxin, an expert from Shanghai University of Finance and Economics, said the government needs to further streamline administration to build up a better business environment for brand development.

“Brands come out of market competition – only fair and free market competition provides an environment for the growth of famous brands,” he said.

He also pointed out that Shanghai should work out industry policies that favor brands related to people’s everyday lives, knowledge and information, as well as talent policies that can attract professionals from various areas, including scientists, cultural scholars, engineers, craftsmen, entrepreneurs and workers.

He added that Shanghai should not only create its own brands, but also introduce brands into the city from outside and merge or cooperate between brands.

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