Yangpu to boost comprehensive open trade initiatives

Yang Jian
Party secretary says district is set to broaden its trade horizons by expanding into emerging markets in Southeast Asia and Latin America focusing on services and digital trade.
Yang Jian
Yangpu to boost comprehensive open trade initiatives
Ti Gong

Xue Kan (right), Party secretary of Yangpu, answers questions during a dialogue with around 30 reporters from home and abroad.

Yangpu is set to broaden its trade horizons by expanding into emerging markets in Southeast Asia and Latin America, focusing on services and digital trade rather than traditional goods, the district's top official said on Friday.

Xue Kan, Party secretary of Yangpu, was speaking to around 30 reporters from domestic and international organizations.

This event was the first in a series of media dialogues with Party secretaries and the mayor organized by the All-China Journalists Association and the Shanghai Government Information Office.

Yangpu, the largest and most populous central district in Shanghai, boasts a rich industrial heritage. Despite occupying less than 1 percent of Shanghai's total area, it once generated a quarter of the city's industrial output.

Historic sites such as China's first modern water plant and the Far East's largest thermal power plant remain, earning the area recognition from UNESCO as the "world's largest riverside industrial belt."

"Yangpu has always embraced an open and inclusive attitude," Xue said. The district has established friendly relations with cities such as Palo Alto in the US, Kishiwada in Japan and Como in Italy.

These relationships have fostered the establishment of organizations such as the San Francisco Bay Area Council and the Nordic Innovation Center in Yangpu.

The district also hosts platforms that include the Laos Economic and Trade Cooperation Expo and the Brazil Investment Promotion Center.

Multinational corporations, including Nike, Siemens, Continental, and Henkel, have regional headquarters and research and development centers in the district. Currently, over 10,000 expats live and work in Yangpu, Xue said.

Yangpu to boost comprehensive open trade initiatives
Ti Gong

Officials launch the series of media dialogues between Party secretaries and the mayor and journalists from both domestic and overseas organizations.

Yangpu houses more than 1,700 foreign-funded enterprises, including 44 multinational company regional headquarters and R&D centers.

The companies have shown robust growth, with a 20 percent revenue increase for three consecutive years despite China's overall economic growth slowing to single digits, Xue said.

German multinational Henkel, for example, invested nearly 100 million yuan (US$13.8 million) in January to establish an Asian consumer goods experimental center in Yangpu. Nike also established its first sports research lab outside of North America in Yangpu.

The district is also home to over 10 renowned universities, including Fudan and Tongji, with 180,000 students and a third of Shanghai's international student population.

Yangpu's innovation-driven industrial system, known as the "1234" framework, focuses on the digital economy, artificial intelligence, internet development, the online new economy, intelligent manufacturing, modern design, and new industries such as technology services, life health, and green and low-carbon industries.

The district has attracted over 7,000 digital companies, from leading firms to competitive small and medium-size enterprises. Digital economy enterprises constitute 20 percent of all companies in Yangpu, contributing 30 percent to regional tax revenue.

Many of the digital firms will be based in the district's riverside area, which contains over 700 immovable cultural heritage sites, including six nationally and municipally protected landmarks.

The riverside region houses 260,000 square meters of industrial relics, with 120,000 square meters already restored. The district's development plan includes 8 million square meters of construction, emphasizing the protective development of these historic sites, Xue said.

Yangpu to boost comprehensive open trade initiatives
Ti Gong

A foreign reporter asks a question at the journalists' meeting with Xue Kan, Party secretary of Yangpu.

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