Shanghai has expanded its role as a global trade hub over the past 10 years

Aerial view of Shanghai Photo: VCG

Shanghai’s role as a leading international trade hub has strengthened over the past decade, driven by the city’s consistency in expanding domestic demand and boosting quality consumption, Gu Jun, chairman of the Shanghai Municipal Trade Commission, said on Sunday.

The city’s growing consumer capacity and political support from the government have been the main drivers of Shanghai’s growing role as a major trading center.

At the press conference, Gu said Shanghai’s retail sales have doubled over the past decade, to lead other cities in the country.

Shanghai is now the largest distribution center for imported consumer goods in China, with the share of consumer goods imports in Shanghai’s ports exceeding 40 percent of the country’s total imports, Gu said.

The port’s clothing imports account for about 70 percent of total Chinese imports, followed by 41 percent for cosmetics and 37 percent for vehicles in the country.

Shanghai is also the first choice for international brands to enter the Chinese market. The concentration of world-renowned high-end brands exceeds 90 percent.

The huge market consumption capacity has attracted numerous international companies, many of which have chosen Shanghai as their first entry into the Chinese market.

During the 13th Five-Year Plan (2016-20), more than 800 such stores opened each year, about half the country’s total.

An effective policy has created conditions for the city’s development. Over the past 10 years, Shanghai has insisted on giving full leeway to the market’s crucial role in resource allocation, Gu said.

As Shanghai has insisted on promoting the high-quality development of trade, the city has become the world’s leading commercial port city.

Even in the difficult times caused by the epidemic and other international tensions, the trade value of Shanghai’s ports reached 10.1 trillion yuan ($1.4 trillion) in 2021. For the first time, the city’s total commodity trade exceeded 4 trillion yuan, leading other provinces and cities in the country.

The regional headquarters of multinational companies are an important part of building an international trading hub. Since Shanghai took the lead in introducing the policy of encouraging multinational corporations to set up regional headquarters in the city in 2002, Shanghai has maintained its status as a metropolis with the most regional multinational corporation headquarters in mainland China.

By the end of September, 877 regional headquarters of multinational companies had been set up in Shanghai.

Almost 80 percent come from developed countries and regions such as the US, Europe and Japan, affecting advanced manufacturing sectors such as biomedical and automotive manufacturing.

By the end of 2021, the actual deployment of foreign capital in Shanghai exceeded $300 billion, up $168 billion from 2012.

Dong Dengxin, director of the Finance and Securities Institute of Wuhan University of Science and Technology, told the Global Times on Sunday that Shanghai has competitive advantages as the world’s leading trade hub, which will be further cemented in the coming months.

The city is also leading the trend in international payments and investments, which in turn will give new impetus to its growing role as an international trade hub, the expert said.

Global times

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