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Business environment helps Xuhui district into pole position

China Daily Global | Updated:Nov 23, 2020

Streamlined paperwork and convenient services help to attract a raft of foreign enterprises

Shanghai's Xuhui district has promised to create a favorable business environment through an efficient administrative service and characteristic development path.

Located in the southwest of Shanghai, Xuhui district has long been in the top list for global investors. The number of regional headquarters of multinational companies in this district ranks first in the city.

A total of 90 regional headquarters have settled in this district, including seven new ones this year. Besides that, the district is home to 23 research and development centers. These foreign-funded companies, especially the headquarters, are playing an increasingly important role in the district's development. Optimizing business environment is the foundation and key for promoting high-quality development, an official of the Xuhui district government said.

Xuhui district uses its good business environment to support stable economic development. It copes with the uncertainty of the outside environment with the certainty of self development, the district's director Fang Shizhong said.

To improve business environment, Xuhui puts public service first and is continuously improving the efficiency of its administrative work.

For example, it has simplified procedures so as to speed up the paperwork for overseas enterprises and talents.

Xuhui is also a demonstration area for the integration of the internet into government service. It offers services through its online administrative service platform and app. Also, it streamlined the procedures of offline services and simplified the complex processes and quantity of procedures for the Xuhui-based and foreign companies.

Besides that, Xuhui also opened administrative services around the clock in a bid to improve convenience. Such services are available at commercial areas, industrial parks and banks.

Under the effects of COVID-19 and the world's faltering economy, the district government has increased its efforts to support enterprises.

After the outbreak of the pandemic earlier this year, government officials made on-site visits to key foreign enterprises to learn of their problems and difficulties. More than 98 percent of the more than 100 questions raised by these foreign enterprises were resolved.

During the pandemic, the district released a number of policies to help enterprises solve difficulties and speed up economic recovery.

These policies cover a wide range of aspects, such as expanded investment, consumption promotion, industry cultivation and cultural industry support.

In the first half of this year, the fund which involves all kinds of preferential policies for enterprises exceeded 3 billion yuan ($457 million). Reduced rent of small and medium-sized enterprises reached more than 100 million yuan, benefiting nearly 1,000 non-State-owned small and medium-sized enterprises.

Besides that, the district allocated 47.75 million yuan of property management subsidies to 351 commercial buildings and business parks in the district.

As a result, foreign investment in Xuhui district has seen rapid growth. From January to October, the district received $3.09 billion agreed foreign investment and foreign capital flow reached $740 million, increasing 17 percent and 11 percent respectively.

In the first three quarters of this year, foreign-funded companies, accounting for 14 percent of the district's total companies, contributed about 44 percent of the total tax revenue.

Among them, nearly one-third were from headquarters.

The headquarters of multinational companies have become an important engine to promote Xuhui's economic growth, a pillar to adjust industrial structure, and a major component for scientific innovation and to improve regional functions, an official noted.

The annual Shanghai International Import Expo has brought Xuhui huge development opportunities. Continuously amplifying the spillover effect of the CIIE has become a vital part of the government's work, an official said.

A total of 31 companies based in Xuhui district participated in the third CIIE held on Nov 5-10. In addition to supporting enterprises to participate in the expo, the district organized a series of matchmaking meetings for enterprises.

It also released an investment map and provided a policy and information service for potential investors during the expo.

In the first year of the country's 14th Five-Year Plan (2021-25), the district will push the implementation of opening-up policies and create more hot spots for foreign investment based on its own characteristics and advantages, an official said.

Now the district is striving to become a place for global product debuts, as a way to help improve the experience of "Shopping in Shanghai".

So far, the district's Hengfu (Hengshan-Fuxing Road Historical Conservation Zone), Xujiahui and West Bund are good options for high-end brands to launch new products.

The district also held the second Shanghai International Artwork Trade Month between October 15 and November 15.

The monthlong event aims to attract world-leading artwork organizations to the district and create a trading market worth more than 100 billion yuan, said Fang Shizhong.

Last year, Shanghai International Artwork Trading Center was launched in the district. It combines spaces for exhibition, trading, promotion and offices.

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