(Yicai Global) Nov. 7 -- Many foreign companies attended the 2019 Shanghai City Promotion Conference yesterday with the intention of taking advantage of the city's increasingly open business environment and favorable investment policies.
Under the theme of Embracing the China International Import Expo, Sharing a Future, the conference focused on Shanghai's urban design and business environment. It introduced key areas of the city such as Pudong New Area, the Free Trade Zone's new Lingang area, the Zhangjiang National Innovation Demonstration Zone and Hongqiao Business District, which each offer great investment prospects.
Shanghai has long been a highly popular destination for overseas investment. Foreign-funded companies contribute 27 percent of its gross domestic product, 33 percent of tax revenue and around two-thirds of foreign trade imports and exports as well as industrial output value. To encourage this, the city plans to create an efficient foreign investment system and a world-class business environment.
"China is our largest potential market," Massimo Tammaro, chief executive of Italian aircraft maker Alpi Aviation, said at the conference. Since his first visit to Shanghai 10 years ago, Tammaro has noticed with each successive visit how the city's business environment has become increasingly open. "Our firm is full of hope for the development of Shanghai," he added.
Pordenone-based Alpi is attending the expo for the first time this year and has brought a P400 four-seater light aircraft, a Syton helicopter and a Strix drone with the intention of selling them in the Chinese market. Through the expo, the company has made contact with many potential collaborators.
The firm plans to build a plant in Wuxi city near Shanghai and in this way transfer partial capacity to China, Li Xia, assistant president of China United Investment Holdings, Alpi's Chinese partner, told Yicai Global. It would consider moving its entire research and development center to Shanghai once the business environment and policies permit, he added.
Shanghai's manufacturing industry contributes nearly 30 percent of the city's GDP, John Meacock, chief strategy officer for global accountancy organization Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu, told Yicai Global. Its R&D sector accounts for 3.98 percent of GDP, more than in most developed countries. This sector provides real economic support for the development of Shanghai's service industry, he said. It has abundant application scenarios for the development of advanced manufacturing technologies.
French tire manufacturer Michelin Group is upgrading its Shanghai factory to bring the latest technologies to the city and to expand capacity, Kamran Vossoughi, global vice president of Michelin Group and president and CEO of Michelin China, told Yicai Global.
The Clermont-Ferrand-based firm is looking to diversify its business in China and is exploring the hydrogen fuel cell industry, Vossoughi added. With the Chinese government's support for clean energy, China's fuel cell market is expected to become one of the largest in the world.