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Shanghai begins new column updating foreign businesses on Shanghai's optimization

By Lin Shujuan | chinadaily.com.cn | Updated: 2024-02-23 13:47

High-rises dominate the skyline on both sides of the Huangpu River in Shanghai. [Photo by Gao Erqiang/China Daily]

The International Services Shanghai, an online portal the municipal government of Shanghai launched on Jan 1 to provide the most updated policies and information for expats and foreigners interested in traveling, working, studying, investing in and living in Shanghai, has recently included a column dedicated to presenting the city's effort for business environment optimization.

The column called "B-Ready" has included an analysis of Shanghai's business environment based on the indicators of Business Ready, a business environment assessment system introduced by the World Bank in 2023. The analysis also listed the key measures and cases carried out in Shanghai and the results achieved over the past years, allowing foreign companies to better understand Shanghai's determination and actions to continuously optimize the business environment and enhance their confidence and recognition of investment in Shanghai.

An illustration of Shanghai's latest action plan for the effort released on Feb 18 and an introduction of the city's 53 industrial parks were also updated on the portal.

Bruno Lannes, a partner of Bain & Company who has been living in Shanghai for 18 years, said the new portal is a good illustration of Shanghai being "a welcoming city for international people".

"There is a focus of the Shanghai government to make the life of foreign people as enjoyable as possible when they come to Shanghai," Lannes said.

As a business consultant, Lannes said he believes government support, accommodation for child education, health and living, and access to talents have always been the three major considerations for one to invest in or migrate to a city.

Shanghai, which has been updating its action plans for business environment optimization on an annual basis since 2018, has earned the recognition as the most attractive Chinese city by foreign talents for many years.

The new portal is a good tool to market the Shanghai brand, Lannes said.

Carlo D'Andrea, vice president of the European Union Chamber of Commerce in China and chairman of its Shanghai Board, said 83 percent of its members consider Shanghai as the best city in China to conduct business.

The city, which is at the helm of the Yangtze River Delta area - the richest region in China, is "the door for foreign investment", said the vice president of the largest business association from Europe.

D'Andrea, who has been providing legal services to multinational companies in China for nearly 20 years, said Shanghai's latest effort for business environment optimization is "in the right direction".

"While big multinational companies are already doing business here, if Shanghai and China want to attract more investment, they should focus on the small-to-medium enterprises, which need a bit of an improved ecosystem, where they can have the opportunity to cooperate, to innovate and to grow together with the multinational companies," said the Italian legal professional and entrepreneur.

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