Sharing a vision of a prosperous, innovative future for all
Diplomats, foreign journalists, representatives of overseas institutions, senior executives of foreign-funded enterprises and Magnolia Award winners visited Pudong yesterday to learn about the new area’s commitment to deepening reform and further opening up.
“An open, innovative, high-quality Pudong invites all foreign investment and companies to grow with us!” announced Hang Yingwei, director of Pudong New Area.
“Pudong will attract and match global resources, pool wisdom and create knowledge.”
The group of 400 included graduates of the New York University Shanghai (NYU Shanghai), foreign advisers to the Shanghai government and officials from sister cities and districts.
Their first stop was the Exhibition of the Opening-Up of Pudong at 141 Pudong Avenue.
The guests were briefed the great changes Pudong has made in the past 28 years by viewing the items, documents, pictures and videos on display.
They were impressed to find that Pudong’s gross domestic product soared from 6 billion yuan (US$877 million) in 1990 to 965.1 billion yuan last year.
Particularly after the establishment of China (Shanghai) Pilot Free Trade Zone in September 2013, the economic growth of Pudong has skyrocketed.
The Shanghai FTZ covers 2 percent of the city’s total area but creates 25 percent of Shanghai’s gross domestic product and 40 percent of the city’s trade.
The free trade zone spawned Shanghai’s first wholly foreign-owned vocational training institution, first joint venture hospital, first reinsurance broker, first wholly foreign-owned yacht design company, first foreign law firm and the first “negative list.”
After reviewing the past, the visitors were shown the vision for Pudong in 2020. With the magic of immersive technology, they shuttled the time tunnel to the future or took a bird’s-eye view of the skyline.
All of these are just a piece of cake technically, as the new area is home to 615 R&D institutions. Among them, 41 are at national level while 227 are multinational conglomerates.
Pudong also has 1,711 tech firms, 143 of which are domestically or overseas-listed.
Apart from technology innovation, new ways of innovative management approaches and policies were explored to support the upgrade of the “headquarters economy” and “platform economy” and the development of new business sectors and models.
At the Pudong enterprises service center, visitors were told that a series of reform efforts have been spearheaded in business registration, including applications for business licenses before obtaining an operating permit, and pilot initiatives to enable the separation of business licenses and operating permits.
Under its reforms, Pudong has added 110,000 entity taxpayers in the past two years.
Pudong is the first district in Shanghai to have an “authority list” and a “responsibility list,” to ensure that the government has a limited involvement in the market while providing effective services and regulatory support in a transparent, efficient and law-based manner.
In accordance with the “one counter” model at the service center, enterprises submit their applications to different government agencies through just one counter and receive feedback at the same platform.
Regulators can also exchange information, do business processing and get feedback via the same platform.
The “one-counter” system, as well as the information sharing system, also reduce costs for trade companies and benefit the global economy.
At Shanghai Waigaoqiao Bonded Zone, visitors learned that the methods reduce documents needed from traders and help realize paperless customs declarations, examinations and tax payments.
Waigaoqiao is also building professional trading platforms for industries including culture, intelligent manufacturing, medical facilities, cars and cosmetics.
Shanghai Free Trade Zone International Artwork Exchange Center, which has been running for four years, is a platform that provides storage and logistics for cultural and art products.
It simplifies the procedures of artworks’ customs clearance, exhibition and trade.
The center is now constructing an international artwork bonded service warehouse, which is likely to begin operating this year.
The warehouse of more than 50,000 square meters will be built to international standards.
It will have public spaces and more than 100 VIP rooms with constant temperature and humidity, safe boxes for paintings, plus coffers and storerooms for other collections. It will have six layers of security and 1-meter-thick outer walls.
The International Cosmetics Display and Trade Center, opened last July, echoes the new policy of “filing non-special cosmetics” which was issued four months earlier.
The policy replaces regulations that required a lengthy examination and approval procedure before imports could be officially launched in China.
The visitors appreciated the fact that the new rule allows cosmetics companies to obtain credentials within five workdays of filing product information with related departments, compared with a three-month wait previously.
It means seasonal products such as special Christmas releases can appear on the Chinese market right on time.
However, the new filing policy does not abandon the high standards required for safety amid the implementation of in-event control and subsequent monitoring, the visitors were told.
After leaving Waigaoqiao, they arrived at Zhangjiang — a science and technology innovation city.
As an innovation hub, Zhangjiang boasts five entrepreneurship and innovation clusters featuring 86 incubators and 2,586 startups.
Zhangjiang has ambitions to be on a par with, or surpass, California’s Silicon Valley, Singapore’s One North Science Park and Japan’s Tsukuba scientific town.
It aims to attract 500 renowned scientists and experts by the end of 2020. Over 20,000 professionals from abroad and overseas graduates will work in Zhangjiang by then, according to the Pudong New Area government.
An Administration of Overseas Talent has been established to offer a one-stop service for overseas professionals along with a batch of new policies to ease green card and work permit rules.
The newly established Administration of Overseas Talent offers a one-stop service for skilled workers from abroad. The administration makes the processing of work permits to foreign workers more efficient. It is responsible for handling applications for Chinese permanent residence permits as well as testing innovative methods for streamlining administration.
Talent who work for the key facilities in the core area of Zhangjiang are given priority access to permanent residence.
Additionally, Shanghai allows regional headquarters of transnational companies, investment companies and foreign research and development centers registered in Zhangjiang and the Shanghai FTZ to employ graduates from leading universities, with or without work experience.
Best performing overseas graduates, who have worked in the city for three years are now entitled to apply for permanent residence.
But it is that’s not all. Pudong wants to do more to attract and retain more outstanding talent from across the world to build a “highland” for professionals by 2020. It is definitely good news for all the visitors.
Tyler Rhorick, recipient of China’s first Bachelor Degree Overseas Student Work Permit, expressed his gratitude to Pudong as he benefited from the new policy that allows international students with Bachelor’s degrees from Chinese Universities to work in the Shanghai FTZ, which includes Lujiazui — the home of NYU Shanghai.
Rhorick is now an associate of New Student Programs at NYU Shanghai. This new policy also benefited his close friends like Rewant Prakash from India, who works for a company in Pudong to create immersive business solutions using augmented reality and virtual reality, and Meizhi Ng from Singapore, who works in leadership development training.
“As you walk between the skyscrapers of Lujiazui, or cycle on the sidewalks of Century Avenue, you get to know that Pudong is ever changing in its innovation, committed to providing a high quality of life, and opening itself up more and more to the talent of other foreigners, like yourself, with new policies like the one I and my friends benefited from,” Rhorick said.
“It truly is the open, innovative, high quality Pudong. It is for these reasons and many more that I am unsurprised to see the total amount of international students and employees in Pudong increase every year.”
Szilard Bolla is the first consul general in Shanghai to move his office and residence to Pudong.
“It was in 2014 and after five years the decision has been proved as completely right,” the consul general of Hungary said.
“Pudong has 4 percent of the global trade; Pudong International Airport serves 60 million passengers every year. Pudong has the second highest building and highest swimming pool around the world as well as the best club.
“There are also many other reasons… As a happy and fortunate Pudonger I would like to share all the best with people around the world.”
In the eyes of Michael Kruppe, general manager of Shanghai New International Expo Center, Pudong is not only a place to start a new business but a place for further development.
“Not to forget the Free Trade Zone with many advantages for new business to register, reduced income taxes and duties, or much faster granting of business licenses or even visa for customers and visitors,” the winner of 2017 Shanghai Magnolia Silver Award said.