Shanghai Free Trade Zone sees more new firms, investment
Updated: September 21, 2023 08:45 Xinhua

SHANGHAI, Sept. 20 -- China (Shanghai) Pilot Free Trade Zone (FTZ) has seen an increasing number of newly established firms and an improving business environment over the past decade, said a white paper released Wednesday.

The white paper was released during a forum commemorating the 10th anniversary of the establishment of the Shanghai FTZ, the inaugural pilot FTZ in China, founded in Pudong in 2013.

According to the paper, the zone attracted 84,000 new enterprises by the end of last year, 2.35 times the number of enterprises established in the 20 years before the zone's establishment.

Benefiting from the construction, the Pudong New Area has attracted 18,691 new foreign investment projects by 2022, with a cumulative registered capital of 217.27 billion U.S. dollars and a cumulative actual foreign investment of 74.99 billion U.S. dollars, as noted in the paper.

Last year, Pudong New Area achieved a GDP of 1.6 trillion yuan (around 223.05 billion U.S. dollars), a total commodity sales volume of 5.9 trillion yuan, total retail sales of consumer goods of 360 billion yuan, and a fiscal revenue of 520.1 billion yuan. These figures represent growth rates of 2.3 times, 2.5 times, 2.3 times, and 1.9 times, respectively, compared to 2013.

The free trade zone has also created a more favorable institutional environment for businesses over the past decade, leading to a higher sense of achievement and satisfaction among enterprises, said the white paper.

As of June this year, over 58,000 work permits for foreigners have been issued, including 12,000 for high-level talents.

The Shanghai Pilot Free Trade Zone represents a bold and pioneering initiative, said Dilma Rousseff, president of the New Development Bank, during the forum.

Rousseff added that by maintaining the growth of foreign trade activities and expanding reforms to strengthen the financial and high-tech industries, the Central and Shanghai governments are accelerating the process of economic transformation and modernization.

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