Shanghai attracts record foreign capital in 2019

High-rise buildings and skyscrapers dominate the skyline of the Huangpu River and the Lujiazui Financial District in Pudong, Shanghai on July 12, 2018. (Photo: IC)

SHANGHAI - Foreign capital in Shanghai achieved a new high last year in the city's history -- $19.05 billion, up 10.1 percent year-on-year, the municipal government said Friday.

An average of over $52 million of foreign capital was invested in Shanghai daily. Last year, 50 regional headquarters of foreign-funded multinational companies and 20 foreign-funded R&D centers landed in Shanghai.

In total, the regional headquarters of 720 foreign-funded multinational companies, as well as 461 foreign-funded R&D centers, had landed in Shanghai by the end of 2019, as the city's headquarters economy took off.

Official statistics show that Shanghai added 6,800 new foreign investment projects in 2019, up 21.5 percent year-on-year. The contractual foreign capital amounted to $50.25 billion, up 7.1 percent.

Business services continued to lead the city in attracting foreign investment, while information services, trade, financial services and real estate achieved balanced development. Science and technology services continued to be the fastest-growing industry.

A series of opening-up policies and business environment improvement contributed to investment growth, according to the local government. The foreign investment law, which went into effect Jan 1, is expected to further stimulate the market.

A total of 60 foreign investment projects worth over $7.3 billion were signed Friday at a ceremony organized by the municipal government.

Among the signed projects, there were 39 in manufacturing with a total investment of $4.7 billion, 20 mega-projects worth over $100 million each, nine projects from Fortune 500 companies and nearly 20 regional headquarters projects.

Allergan, a Dublin-headquartered pharmaceutical company, invested $18.75 million in a medical equipment company in the Shanghai free trade zone last year.

At the ceremony, Allergan announced that it would establish its regional headquarters in Shanghai to integrate investment, service, operation and management so as to expand its presence in China and other countries in Asia in the long run.

White Wang, president of Allergan China, said the company, which entered China 10 years ago, has benefited from Chinese residents' rising living standards and consumption upgrading over the past decade.

Yang Chao, deputy head of the city's commerce commission, told Xinhua that foreign investment in Shanghai has entered a new phase of higher level, wider range and deeper involvement.