Shanghai attracts more foreign investment in 2020

Despite global economic fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic, Shanghai has seen growth in both foreign trade and the actual use of foreign capital in 2020, with more regional headquarters of multinational companies and foreign R&D centers newly set up in the city.

Speaking at the ongoing fifth session of the 15th Shanghai Municipal People’s Congress, Gong Zheng, mayor of Shanghai, noted that the city’s foreign trade in 2020 increased 2.3 percent year on year, with imports and exports volume totaling 3.5 trillion yuan (about 540 billion U.S. dollars). The actual use of foreign capital reached 20.23 billion yuan, an annual increase of 6.2 percent.

According to the government work report released during the city’s “two sessions,” 51 regional headquarters of multinational companies and 20 foreign R&D centers were set up in Shanghai in 2020, bringing the total to 771 and 481, respectively. The new developments make the city one of the most important hubs for the global headquarters economy.

The third China International Import Expo was held in Shanghai last November as scheduled despite the pandemic woes, with deals for intended one-year purchases of goods and services worth more than 72.6 billion U.S. dollars reached, up 2.1 percent from the expo held in 2019.

Shanghai will further implement the city’s regulations on foreign investment and carry out comprehensive pilot projects for expanding the opening up of the service industry, Gong said.

The city will also strive to build a new global investment attraction network to take advantage of the opportunities brought by China’s signing of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) free trade agreement, Gong noted.