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Shanghai still attractive to global investors amid pandemic

Updated: 2021-01-04

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Shanghai rolls out an array of favorable policies to further open up and attract global investors. [Photo by Xu Wanglin/for chinadaily.com.cn]

Shanghai's paid-in foreign capital amounted to $19.04 billion in the first 11 months of 2020, growing by 6.8 percent year-on-year, showcasing that the city's economy has largely remained resilient despite the global COVID-19 pandemic.

"The annual paid-in foreign capital of Shanghai is expected to exceed $20 billion in 2020, hitting a record-high," said Hua Yuan, director of the Shanghai Municipal Commission of Commerce.

Burger King, a US-based fast-food chain, has opened more than 100 stores in Shanghai in the September to December period of last year in spite of the ongoing pandemic.

"We are optimistic about the Chinese economy and market. We plan to open more stores in China in 2021 and introduce more new products to Chinese consumers," said Zhu Fuqiang, chief executive of Burger King (China).

During the Thirteenth Five-Year Plan (2016-2020) period, modern services, advanced manufacturing, and strategic emerging industries saw an increase in the actual use of foreign capital.

Statistics show that the actual use of foreign capital in Shanghai's service sector reached $17.93 billion in the first 11 months of 2020, of which the high-tech service sector, centering on information technology services, accounted for more than 30 percent.

Shanghai has also accelerated the development of its higher-level headquarters economy, with a total of 47 regional headquarters of transnational companies settling in the city from January to November last year, as well as 20 Asia-Pacific headquarters and 18 foreign-funded research and development (R&D) centers.

According to figures from the Shanghai Municipal Commission of Commerce, as of the end of November, a total of 767 multinational companies had set up their regional headquarters in Shanghai, making it the city with the highest number of regional headquarters and foreign-funded R&D centers on the Chinese mainland, which have reflected its increasing economic appeal to foreign investors.

In spite of the global COVID-19 pandemic, this year's China International Import Expo took place as scheduled and attracted global exhibitors in droves. The expo saw $72.62 billion worth of deals reached for intended one-year purchases of goods and services, up 2.1 percent from the last expo, demonstrating foreign companies' continued confidence and interest in the Chinese market.