Foreign investment continues pouring into Pudong

Li Qian
Epidemic aside, the foreign business community isn't shying away from high-profile projects in China. This includes a recent batch in Pudong worth US$1.7 billion.
Li Qian

Despite of the coronavirus epidemic, the Pudong New Area’s economy remains as vital as ever as 21 new foreign business projects have been recently introduced.

On Tuesday, Pudong and 21 multinational companies signed contracts, worth US$1.7 billion, to set up regional headquarters, open innovation centers and launch new products in the area.

The companies, mostly from the US, Japan, Singapore, the UK and Switzerland, cover the fields of supply chain management, medical devices, smart manufacturing and capital management. Most of them are industry leaders which are expected to bring hefty investment and provide huge support to Pudong’s development.

Of the companies, European construction machine manufacturer Liebherr plans to invest 300 million yuan (US$43 million) on a new office building in the Waigaoqiao bonded area which will serve as its regional headquarters.

Also in Waigaoqiao, Siemens Healthineers, a leading medical equipment manufacturer, plans to open an innovation center for bioengineering research and development.

SSG Capital, one of the largest investment firms in the Asia-Pacific region, plans to launch a new capital management project. Leading refiner ExxonMobil plans to launch a project in the automotive aftermarket segment.

Pudong has long been a favored location among foreign businesses entering Shanghai. Although the epidemic has brought challenges, Pudong’s economy remains resilient.

Moreover, Pudong has improved services and increased efficiency for both established foreign firms and new entrants, according to Wang Hua, deputy director of Pudong.

“The launch of these new projects has fully proved that foreign businesses are confident about Pudong,” he said.

His words are echoed by many of the companies which say that China is well on track for continued economic development despite the short-term epidemic-caused impact.

Among them, Air Products, a world-leading industrial gases company, believes that the strong leadership and quick response of the Chinese government will help overcome difficulties and minimize impacts caused by the epidemic.

Regarding China as a major market, Air Products plans to increase investment, by some US$470 million, into the domestic market.

“We are fully confident about the Chinese market, and we will increase investment in air separation, coal gasification and hydrogenic energy,” the company said.

According to Liebherr, the epidemic is more like a “speed bump.” The company hasn’t adjusted or delayed its investment in China, and it is expecting an annual growth of 10 percent of revenues in 2020.

SSG Capital said it will even increase investment and further expand the market so as to reduce the possible impact caused by the epidemic.

In January, Pudong attracted foreign capital of US$710 million, up 57.6 percent compared by the same period last year, and accounting for 47 percent of the city’s total.

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