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Shanghai plans glory for Lujiazui

By Shi Jing China Daily Updated: 2021-08-13

Lujiazui, Shanghai's financial center, should have its business environment further improved and ecosystem completed to reach the world's top standards, according to its 14th Five-Year Plan (2021-25) released on Aug 12.

The 6.89-square-kilometer area should grow into a global renminbi financial asset allocation center during the next few years, according to the plan.

There should be more than 10,000 financial entities in Lujiazui by the end of 2025, among which at least 1,000 will be licensed institutions.

Lujiazui should also aspire to become a hub for the world's top asset management companies, featuring a complete industry chain and most up-to-date businesses.

A national financial leasing center accommodating companies' headquarters and sufficient talent supply should be another highlight of Lujiazui in the following years. On top of that, fintech — financial technologies — should also seek substantial development in Lujiazui by expanding more application scenarios and breeding more innovation, the plan stated.

Therefore, more permissions and approvals should be given to foreign entities in hitherto restricted sectors of the financial services industry based on central regulators' guidance, said Liang Qing, deputy director of the Lujiazui administrative bureau.

At the same time, experiments like issuing bonds in the China (Shanghai) Pilot Free Trade Zone should be advanced with systematic arrangements, said Liang. Yuan-denominated products should be made more accessible to overseas institutional investors to further facilitate the internationalization of the renminbi, he said.

The local government is also studying hot market topics such as carbon neutrality and green bonds. One of the items on the Lujiazui administrative bureau's agenda is to make green bonds more international and the related market more attractive to investors, said Liang.

By the end of 2020, about 40 percent of the foreign banks registered with China's central financial regulators were based in Lujiazui. The area was also home to 36 percent of the country's mutual fund joint ventures. Up to 87 percent of China's futures companies and 76 percent of the securities firms had operations in Lujiazui.

Apart from attracting world-leading financial institutions, Lujiazui should also become a highland of regional headquarters of multinational companies from various industries, the plan stated.

By 2025, there will be 200 such headquarters in Lujiazui, twice the number at present and 20 percent of the city's total number by that time.

Wu Jianfeng, an official with the economic development department of the Lujiazui administrative bureau, said encouragement is being given to companies to explore new businesses and improve their control over industry chain and supply chain.

Prominent sports retailer Decathlon, for instance, is being encouraged to build its largest global innovation center in Lujiazui, based on its New Retail businesses, she said.