'Invest In China Year' event spotlights Shanghai investment

Published November 3, 2023

The Invest In China Year Summit and Shanghai City Promotion, scheduled for November 5th during the sixth China International Import Expo, offer valuable opportunities for global investors to further engage with Chinese markets.


The Invest In China Year Summit and Shanghai City Promotion will take place on Sunday during the sixth China International Import Expo, or CIIE, offering opportunities for global investors to further embrace Chinese markets.

Launched in March, Invest In China Year is a program featuring more than 20 events to showcase opportunities afforded by China's foreign investment environment, and the summit at the CIIE in Shanghai will attract more than 300 representatives from governments, businesses, international organizations and investment promotion agencies.

The Invest In China Year Summit and Shanghai City Promotion will take place on Sunday during the sixth CIIE.

At the 35th International Business Leaders' Advisory Council for the Mayor of Shanghai in October, Mayor Gong Zheng said the city's economy has continued to recover this year, despite global uncertainties. He said positive momentum and overall stability has been maintained, reflecting strong resilience and vitality.

In the first three quarters of this year, Shanghai has seen steady growth in the total import and export volume of goods, along with an improvement of market expectations and corporate confidence, resulting in a burst of vitality in the market. According to Gong, the average number of newly established enterprises per day is 1,888, a year-on-year increase of 42 percent. Additionally, the city's fixed asset investment, private investment and industrial investment have all achieved double-digit growth.

Sound environment

Shanghai has long been at the forefront of reform and opening-up in China and is known for its well-developed industry chain, open mindedness and inclusivity -- all of which set a solid foundation for businesses like Unilever to grow and prosper.

According to Qu Wei, CEO of Unilever China, in 1923 one of the company's founders went to Shanghai to establish a soap factory, which soon introduced brands such as Lux to Chinese consumers.

"Since then, Unilever has firmly established and flourished in Shanghai, expanding its presence throughout China. Over time, the city has emerged as the cornerstone of Unilever's operations in North Asia," Qu said.

Unilever has made continuous investment in China since the 1980s. In 2006, the company's China headquarters relocated to Shanghai, and two years later Unilever established its sixth largest global research and development center in the city. Currently, the R&D center employs 400 scientists and has accumulated more than 1,500 patent applications. Through innovative research and development, it has produced numerous best-selling products.

In 2011, Unilever's China headquarters was upgraded to the North Asia headquarters, marking another historic milestone for the company.

"China has emerged as one of the top three priority markets for Unilever's global growth strategy. This exponential growth is largely attributed to the thriving and inclusive business environment fostered by Shanghai," Qu said.

"The city government stands out for its progressive outlook and proactive approach in addressing emerging trends such as new tracks, formats, and models within the business landscape. This forward-thinking approach translates into a myriad of development advantages extended to foreign enterprises, including Unilever."

Qu said the company, which is marking its 100th anniversary in China this year, will continue to be anchored in Shanghai and will maintain its long-term commitment.

"We will firmly establish our presence in Shanghai and China, and immerse ourselves in the Chinese market, acting as a shining example for our global business operations to attain sustainable and exceptional growth," he said. "Over the next century, our unwavering commitment remains steadfast as we aim to deliver unparalleled products and services of the highest caliber to Chinese consumers."

Besides its robust consumer goods industry, Shanghai offers a fertile environment for professional service industry enterprises to flourish.

SGS, a Swiss testing and inspection company, settled in the city in the 1990s and currently employees thousands of residents, according to Hao Jinyu, president of SGS China.

"Shanghai is China's economic, financial, trade and shipping center and has a world-class industrial layout and mature business support system covering fields such as talent, transportation and exhibitions. This provides a good development environment for professional technical service businesses like SGS, which have broad industry coverage and a high concentration of talents," said Hao, pointing out that SGS has witnessed the continuous improvement of Shanghai's governance standards over the past 30 years.

The open, inclusive, pragmatic and efficient management style of governments strongly support the development of SGS in China, she said.

SGS serves seven strategic sectors -- connectivity and products, industries and environment, health and nutrition, natural resources, knowledge, E-commerce and digital transformation and sustainability -- and regards itself as an active partner in contributing to the enhancement of Shanghai's business environment.

"Inspection, testing, and certification institutions have a wide coverage in the industry and provide deep enterprise services, playing a fundamental and leading role in the transformation and upgrading of the manufacturing industry," said Hao. "SGS's inspection reports and certifications have helped manufacturing companies in Shanghai and its surrounding areas deliver high-quality products to the international trade value chain."

A fair that cannot be missed

The sixth CIIE, with an exhibition area of 367,000 square meters, will open in Shanghai on Sunday, and French tire maker Michelin said it will take advantage of the expo to introduce its latest technology, business and experience to global buyers in "Michelin Circuit Park", focusing on sustainable innovation.

A new tire containing 63 percent sustainable materials for GreenGT's hydrogen racing prototype, the all-electric Porsche 718 Cayman GT4 ePerformance, will make its Chinese debut at the CIIE. Michelin's goal is to produce all tires with 100 percent bio-based, renewable, and recyclable sustainable materials by 2050.

Resicare, Michelin's new business specializing in the research and production of high-performance, eco-friendly, non-toxic adhesives that go beyond the tire industry will also be introduced at the CIIE. Its two-wheeler tire business will be rolled out comprehensively in China, contributing to green mobility in the country.

"We hope to connect Michelin and everyone, connect innovation and life, connect today's expectations and tomorrow's vision through the 'Michelin Circuit Park' at the CIIE," said Ye Fei, president and CEO of Michelin China.

Michelin has been in Shanghai for more than 20 years and has been expanding its investment. In 2001, the company set up its Chinese headquarters in the city, and in 2008 it introduced Tyre Plus, a network for tire replacement and automobile maintenance services. In 2016, Michelin established a new company to focus on innovation, and in 2021 it launched a project to upgrade its factory in Shanghai's Minhang district.

"Michelin has been rooted in this city, running side by side with it and benefiting from its high-quality and open business environment. Going forward, Michelin will remain firmly rooted in Shanghai, demonstrating an enduring dedication and confidence in long-term investment and development," Ye said.

At the 2023 CIIE, both Unilever and SGS will demonstrate their latest products and services for the sixth consecutive year.

SGS will showcase service solutions that enable a green and low carbon supply chain, quality compliance for exporting business, artificial intelligence application and premium performance certification.

"This year marks the 100th anniversary of Unilever's investment in China. We will take advantage of the platform provided by the CIIE to share our global cutting-edge achievements with the world and celebrate 100 years of development in China," Qu said.

Contact Info:
Name: Pan Qi
Email: Send Email
Organization: chinadaily.com.cn
Website: http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/

Release ID: 89112239

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