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Songjiang accelerates creation of favorable business environment to lure internationals

By Wang Hongyi | China Daily Global | Updated:Aug 31, 2020

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Songjiang district has been positioned as a high-tech innovation hub in Shanghai. CHINA DAILY

Officials say development is part of national plan to boost Yangtze River Delta region

Shanghai's Songjiang district is banking on its business environment to drive high quality growth to serve the national development of the Yangtze River Delta region.

As a gateway to the Yangtze River Delta region, the district located in the southwest of Shanghai has been positioned by the government as a high-tech innovation hub in the region.

In 2016, Songjiang began work on the G60 Science and Technology Innovation Valley construction project in an effort to bridge boundaries between provinces and maximize scientific innovation. The project is now incorporated into the Yangtze River Delta region's integrated development guideline.

"The G60 Science and Technology Innovation Valley has been given high strategic priority," said Chen Rong, director of Songjiang district's economic commission. "Based on such a national strategy, Songjiang has boosted quality development in recent years, and has seen many positive results."

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Songjiang Lingang Sci-tech Park is building one of the world's longest industrial porches named Rafael Cloud Porch. The porch, set to extend 1.5 kilometers, was designed by famous architect Rafael Vinoly. CHINA DAILY

According to local authorities, industrial investment in Songjiang has grown rapidly, with investment in fixed assets exceeding 10 billion yuan ($1.44 billion) for three consecutive years, at average annual growth of 65.9 percent. Songjiang's total industrial investment ranks second among all 16 districts in the city.

Songjiang is one of the major advanced manufacturing hubs in Shanghai, and has a solid industrial foundation that gives it a competitive edge. Over years of development, Songjiang has supported robust traditional industries such as electronic information, modern equipment and urban industries.

The district has attracted a large number of foreign-invested manufacturing companies, and as of the end of 2019, there were 5,580 foreign-invested businesses in total in the district, with contractual foreign capital of $20.1 billion from 121 countries and regions, according to local authorities.

To push transformation and upgrading of the manufacturing industry, the district has developed a series of strategic emerging industries in recent years, such as artificial intelligence, integrated circuits, new energy, biomedicine, smart security and new materials.

The district is also developing productive service industries, such as headquarters economy, engineering, procurement and construction, as well as inspection and testing.

Better for business

"In recent years, Songjiang has looked for effective ways to optimize industrial structure through reforming traditional sectors, attracting new industries and phasing out outdated businesses," Chen said.

"At the same time, we pay great attention to building a business-friendly environment and providing quality service for enterprises. This is very important for attracting investment."

To boost scientific and technological innovation while developing the advanced manufacturing industry, Songjiang formed an industrial layout covering the G60 Science and Technology Innovation Valley and nine other zones. Such a layout integrates functions including innovation planning, achievement transformation, advanced manufacturing, logistics trade, and research and development.

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Guangfulin Cultural Relics Park imitates the city's ancient way of life and takes its cues from the inhabitants who lived in the area 5,000 years ago. CHINA DAILY

Focusing on the development of the advanced manufacturing industry, Songjiang authorities provide financial support to newly-introduced enterprises. It also supports technological upgrading of enterprises, providing government subsidies for their key improvement.

The district also supports enterprises in carrying out the research on and application of key technologies.

Songjiang has intensified its efforts to further accelerate the development of its modern service industry, and support the economic development of the headquarters economy.

Newly-introduced corporate headquarters are entitled to a subsidy of up to 10 million yuan.

In addition to encouraging local towns and development zones to formulate and promulgate policies of their own to attract foreign investment, Songjiang also supports the establishment of foreign-funded R&D centers. Foreign-funded R&D institutions accredited by the Shanghai Municipal Commission of Commerce are provided with a maximum subsidy of 3 million yuan.

To improve the business environment and strengthen the communication between government and companies, staff at the Songjiang Investment Promotion Service Center have continuously improved service quality and efficiency. Under an information service network, the latest investment information is collected and quickly delivered to companies through various channels.

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