(Yicai Global) Feb. 20 -- After foreign direct investment into Shanghai reached a record high of USD23.9 billion last year, the municipal government seeks this year to match the number of regional headquarters and research and development centers set up in the city by multinational corporations in 2022, according to an official.
Shanghai aims to encourage global corporations to set up 60 new regional headquarters and 25 research and development centers in the city this year, Xue Feng, director of the Shanghai Investment Promotion Center, said at an event on Feb. 17.
“Through policy interpretation and introduction of resources in Shanghai, we help foreign-funded enterprises accurately find industrial parks suitable for their own development in the city,” Xue said
Since December 2020, Shanghai has introduced policies to encourage global firms to carry out R&D and innovation in China by setting up regional HQs and R&D centers in the city. At the end of last year, Shanghai was home to some 891 such regional HQs and 531 foreign-funded R&D centers.
“We’ve found that Shanghai is a treasure of science and technology,” Unilever China’s Vice President Zeng Xiwen told Yicai Global at the same event, adding that the most important resource for R&D centers are their scientific and tech talent.
UK consumer goods giant Unilever opened its sixth-largest R&D center in Shanghai in 2009. With a total investment of over USD100 million, it employs nearly 400 R&D staff from 12 countries.
The R&D center carries out basic, applied, and product research, with most of its projects oriented to the global market, Zeng said. “For example, some high-end toothpaste products developed in the Shanghai center were first sold in France,” he noted.
Editors: Tang Shihua, Futura Costaglione