Shanghai Attracts More Foreign Investors Thanks to Sound Business Environment
Miao Qi
DATE:  Jun 21 2024
/ SOURCE:  Yicai
Shanghai Attracts More Foreign Investors Thanks to Sound Business Environment Shanghai Attracts More Foreign Investors Thanks to Sound Business Environment

(Yicai) June 21 -- Shanghai's business environment has been luring more and more foreign investors to settle in the city, from entrepreneurs starting from scratch to renowned brands such as the Lego Group.

Paris-born Qianxin Yan graduated from a business school in France and moved to Shanghai six years ago to open a French ice cream bakery. The operating revenue of his first store exceeded CNY700,000 (USD96,400) in its first month of opening, quickly becoming an internet sensation.

Lego entered China through Shanghai, with the Billund-based firm opening its first country flagship store there in 2016 and its first certified shop in 2017. It also set up a regional headquarters in the city and its only plant in the Asia-Pacific region is in neighboring Jiaxing.

The number of foreign-funded companies set up in Shanghai rose 11 percent to 1,851 in the four months ended April 30 from a year earlier, with the figure in the service sector jumping 11.8 percent, according to the latest data released by the city.

Since opening, Qianxin has rebranded his bakery into Luneurs, a French lifestyle brand combining ice cream and hand-baked goods, with sales of its signature ice creams topping 1.5 million a year. It has 35 stores in Chengdu, Shenzhen, Beijing, Nanjing, and other Chinese cities.

Qianxin chose to start his business in Shanghai because the city is similar to Paris, he told Yicai. "They resemble each other in lifestyle, structure, and traffic convenience, with delicious food easy to find in both." The developed catering industry and international demand in Shanghai also made him pick it as his first step in China, he added.

Luneurs received one-stop efficient government services in the first two years, Qianxin noted, adding that it faced no pressure from store leasing to product development and food safety management. Its shops serve as a bridge between foreign and Chinese cultures, he pointed out.

Lego still has great development potential in China with the integrated development of the Yangtze River Delta and other regions and rising consumer demand in the country's third- and fourth-tier cities and central and western areas, noted Huang Guoqiang, senior vice president of the company and general manager of Lego China.

Nearly half of Lego's 988 retail stores worldwide are in China.

The improved business environment and continuous opening-up of China has led to foreign consumer companies getting more willing to invest in the country, Sun Lixing, a researcher at the Shanghai Academy of Social Sciences's Institute of World Economy, told Yicai.

China has been opening up in finance, technology, education, culture, and many other fields, creating greater possibilities for the development of overseas brands, Sun added.

Editors: Tang Shihua, Martin Kadiev

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Keywords:   Consumer Project,Foreign Investment,Business Environment,Market Analysis,Shanghai,Luneurs,LEGO