Favorable policies have seen 31 regional headquarters established this year
Shanghai has become increasingly attractive to multinational companies as the municipal government comes up with more favorable policies.
Statistics released by the city's Municipal Commission of Commerce on Saturday show 701 multinational companies had set up regional headquarters in Shanghai by the end of last month, with another 451 setting up regional research and development centers.
In the first eight months of this year, 31 regional headquarters and 10 R& D centers were established in Shanghai.
Among the regional headquarters, 106 are multinational companies' headquarters for the Asia-Pacific region, the commission said, indicating the city's importance to operations across the wider area.
Shanghai rolled out its first batch of favorable policies to attract regional headquarters in 2002. In late July, the municipal government introduced another 30 policies to further facilitate the development of regional headquarters. The policies took effect on Sept 1.
Yang Di, a researcher at the Shanghai Academy of Social Sciences, said the latest policies lowered the threshold for setting up regional headquarters and gave multinational companies more flexibility in terms of cross-border payments, financing and business license applications.
Favorable education and medical policies have also been put in place to help retain overseas executives and professionals working for multinational companies.
The manufacturing industry has become a leading light showcasing Shanghai's appeal to multinational companies. The Municipal Commission of Commerce said 19 manufacturing projects, each with funded capital reaching $10 million, had been established in Shanghai in the first eight months of the year, up 60 percent year-on-year.
Swiss conglomerate ABB Group's decision to construct its largest and most advanced robotics manufacturing and research facility in Shanghai demonstrated its "big commitment to Shanghai and China", Peter Voser, the company's chairman and CEO, said.
"Our businesses are fully aligned with China's goals of sustainable, high-quality growth and development," he said during the groundbreaking ceremony for the $150 million investment on Thursday. "This substantial investment demonstrates our strong commitment to Shanghai and to China, and our confidence in the future of the Chinese economy."
Voser praised the role China has played in fostering ABB's development into the global technology leader it is today, and said "ABB China is a Chinese company under Chinese management."
Chen Mingbo, deputy secretary-general of the municipal government, said Shanghai had been working hard to develop its "Made in Shanghai" Initiative, through which the city aims to strengthen its high-end manufacturing prowess.