Shanghai Foreign Trade Zone, San Francisco Forge Investment Agreement
The City of San Francisco and ‘sister city’ Shanghai have signed a Memorandum of Understanding to boost investment and business ties.
The MOU was signed at a recent investment conference in San Francisco organized by the San Francisco-Shanghai Sister City Committee and the Shanghai Free Trade Zone (SHFTZ), China’s first pilot free trade zone.
“This is a critically important step in the expansion of California’s relationship with China and Shanghai,” says California Lt. Governor Gavin Newsom. “Not only will California businesses have an opportunity to take advantage of the free trade zone, China will now have a formalized process of providing Chinese investors the opportunities to invest and work with business here in our state.”
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Opened in 2013 as a pilot program, the 28-square mile Shanghai FTZ, which combines the operations of five existing free trade zones and industrial zones, has attracted 17,373 enterprises, 3,000 of which are part foreign-owned, and facilitated more than 280 projects with a total investment of $9 billion.
“We not only welcome overseas merchants to invest in China but also are willing to facilitate Chinese capital for overseas businesses,” says Liu Hong, general manager of Shanghai Waigaoqiao Free Trade Zone United Development Co, which oversees operations at the SHFTZ.
The conference included presentations by 10 San Francisco Bay Area-based businesses to the Chinese investors who accompanied the SHFTZ delegation, unveiling projects that included high tech, healthcare and “innovative products such as environmentally friendly diapers and a gadget for controlling blood pressure,” according to James Fang, chairman of the San Francisco–Shanghai Sister Committee.
“The Chinese investors are interested in the innovative technologies here, which are good and cost-effective as well,” he says, adding that “bilateral investment would improve the two countries’ relationship. More investment into the U.S. means more job opportunities.”
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