Huangpu remains a magnet for overseas investment

Yang Jian
Despite the coronavirus epidemic, multinational brands are still as enthusiastic as ever about investing in Huangpu District, according to authorities.
Yang Jian

Overseas investments in Shanghai's downtown Huangpu District continues to remain strong in spite of the coronavirus pandemic.

The number of new foreign investment projects, as well as those from Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan, launched in Huangpu so far this year is basically even with the same period in 2019, the Huangpu District government said on Thursday.

TH Hong Kong International Limited, an investment firm, has newly established its regional headquarters in Huangpu. Multiple foreign brands have or will expand their investments in the district too. These include Canadian diary brand Saputo, UK luxury brand Gènavant, cosmetic brand Make Up For Ever, French container shipping group CMA CGM and Merlin Entertainments Group.

In 2019, a total of 163 new overseas investment projects worth about US$1.5 billion were signed in Huangpu District. Four multinational enterprises — Accenture, Meiji, CDK Global and Deckers Footwear — set up their regional headquarters in Huangpu last year.

The enthusiasm of overseas investors remains undiminished in 2020 despite the COVID-19 pandemic, said Yang Dongsheng, deputy director of Huangpu. The district government granted certificates to over a dozen local institutions and overseas firms as Huangpu's foreign investment counselors.

Seven global consulting giants including Deloitte, PwC, Ernst & Young and McKinsey have been appointed consulting partners to Huangpu. They are invited to provide trend data and information about foreign investors as well as consulting and planning services for the district government.

The district's commission of commerce also signed a cooperative agreement with Shanghai Foreign Investment Development Board on Thursday to further attract investment from overseas.

Huangpu has released 12 new measures to better implement China's Foreign Investment Law, which came into effect on January 1. Huangpu's measures focus on further opening up, promoting foreign investment, upgrading services and protecting the rights and interests of the investors. These cover the district's key industries such as finance, trade, scientific innovation, culture and education.

Overseas investment now accounts for half of the district economy, Yang said. The multinational headquarters are mainly based in downtown landmarks such as People's Square, Huaihai Road and Xintiandi, he added.

The Canadian dairy manufacturer Saputo, for instance, which won numerous orders during the first China International Import Expo (CIIE) in 2018, has established its wholly owned subsidiary in Huangpu to handle logistics, management and e-commerce sales for its dairy products in China.

The UK brand Gènavant has opened a global store for the debut of new products at the Bund Financial Center after its participation in the first and second CIIEs.

Make Up For Ever, owned by French luxury group LVMH, has established a wholly owned training institute in Huangpu, while Merlin Entertainments has decided to establish its management headquarters in Huangpu to help expand its business in China.

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