Shanghai's financial sector makes progress in further opening-up
Much progress has been made in Shanghai during the first half of this year by responding to the central government's call for further opening-up.
A view of skyline of the Huangpu River and the Lujiazui Financial District with the Oriental Pearl TV Tower and other skyscrapers in Pudong, Shanghai. [Photo: IC]
As the financial hub of China and one of the international financial centers, much emphasis has been put on strengthening Shanghai's financial power. In line with the financial opening-up policies announced by central bank governor Yi Gang in April, the municipal government of Shanghai quickly developed 32 detailed policies in this regard.
Local administrators have accelerated efforts to settle on opening-up projects in Shanghai. Up till now, the local administrators have submitted 23 financial opening-up projects to the State Council and central financial regulators, nine of which have obtained approval and started operation.
The yuan-denominated crude oil futures contracts, which were unveiled in Shanghai on March 26, have now become the largest of their kind in Asia and the third-largest all over the world. A total of 52 global clients have taken part in trading these contracts.
Data provided by the municipal bureau of statistics shows that newly signed contractual foreign investment in Shanghai surged 18.1 percent in the first six months to $21.5 billion, of which $8.6 billion has been paid in.
Major overseas investors have remained stable, with investment amounts into Shanghai from Hong Kong and Singapore up 22.2 percent and 35.6 percent respectively during the first half. Investment from European countries, which is lead by Germany and the Netherlands, rose 42.2 percent. Despite the ongoing China-US trade frictions, the investment from US companies into Shanghai only contracted slightly by 1.7 percent.
The total turnover of multinational companies increased by 10.3 percent, while their total tax payments went up by 13.1 percent. The total profits made by these multinational companies grew more significantly by 17.6 percent during the first half of this year.
Overseas companies have shown consistent interest in setting up their regional headquarters in Shanghai. A total of 17 regional headquarters of multinational companies were founded in the city in the first six months, seven of which are Asia-Pacific headquarters. That brings the total number of multinational companies with regional headquarters in Shanghai to 642.
Shanghai’s research and development capabilities have also been highlighted. An additional eight new R&D centers of multinational companies have settled down in the city in the first half, with the total number of such R&D centers amounting to 434. Among them, 57 are Asia-Pacific or even global R&D centers.