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Shanghai's Lingang welcomes UK businesses

By XING YI in London | chinadaily.com.cn | Updated: 2024-03-21 00:17

Around 100 business representatives attend a conference in London on Tuesday about the investment opportunities in Shanghai's Lingang area. [Photo provided to China Daily]

A promotional conference highlighting investment opportunities in Shanghai's Lingang Special Area was held in London on Tuesday, drawing around 100 representatives from businesses in the United Kingdom.

The coastal area southeast of Shanghai is home to many advanced manufacturing facilities, including the electric vehicle giant Tesla's first overseas gigafactory and the production base for China's first self-developed large passenger aircraft, the C919.

Sun Xiaohe, director of the finance and trade division within the administrative committee of Lingang Special Area, said the area has been aligning rules and standards with international economic and trade agreements, such as the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership, and the Digital Economy Partnership Agreement.

"Over the past four years, Lingang has emerged as a pioneer in China's high-level opening-up, with more pilot programs launched and new policies tested in the area," said Sun. "We are building Lingang into a hub for global resource allocation, a land for science and technology innovation, and a center for advanced industries."

Sun Xiaohe, director of the finance and trade division within the administrative committee of Lingang Special Area, speaks at the London event. [Photo provided to China Daily]

The area has a clear location advantage for trade because it is close to Shanghai Pudong International Airport, one of China's busiest airports, and Yangshan Port, the world's largest container port.

Lingang's development has accelerated since it was designated as the core area of the China (Shanghai) Pilot Free Trade Zone in 2019, to experiment with the country's latest opening-up policies, registering an average annual GDP growth rate of 21.2 percent, and an annual growth rate in fixed asset investment of 43 percent.

The local government is cultivating industrial clusters, not only in trade and manufacturing, but also in semiconductors, biomedicine, artificial intelligence, and cross-border finance.

Wu Yong, director of the Financial Service Center of the Shanghai Lin-gang Special Area Economic Development Co, said the area has attracted various foreign financial institutions, including HSBC Fintech Services (Shanghai), the first foreign-owned fintech headquarters registered in China.

Wu said Lingang is also establishing more international joint laboratories, to foster innovation and aims to attract 2 million talents to live and work in the coastal new city by 2035.

John McLean, chair of the China UK Business Development Centre, speaks at the Tuesday event. [Photo provided to China Daily]

John McLean, chair of the China UK Business Development Centre, said: "As the UK's leading professional services network, we are committed to promoting cooperation between China and the UK in trade and investment, technology and innovation, education and training, and to be the bilateral trade bridge between China and the UK."

"Both my business trips and the hosting of delegations reinforce my belief in the bright prospects which exist, and the opportunities for our bilateral trade to grow," he said.

Jiang Duo contributed to the story.


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