CHINA’S Golden Gate­way

Business Traveler (USA) - - DESTINATIONS -

Lux­ury yachts ply the wa­ters of the Huangpu River dodg­ing freighters piled high with wares and fer­ries criss­cross­ing be­tween the tow­er­ing sky­scrapers of Pudong and the iconic river­front known as the Bund. Tourists stroll along the pop­u­lar wa­ter­way, but they look more like ants when viewed from the 100th floor of glis­ten­ing ho­tel tow­ers.

This is Shang­hai, the com­mer­cial hub of China. It is also the busiest Chi­nese des­ti­na­tion for cor­po­rate trav­el­ers, ac­cord­ing to a re­cent re­port in Buy­ing Busi­ness Travel. While Bei­jing is equally prom­i­nent among China’s me­trop­o­lises (and per­haps more of a tourist draw for its prox­im­ity to the Great Wall), Shang­hai con­tin­ues to re­main most at­tuned to the worldly ways of the West.

This means vis­i­tors want to shop here, busi­nesses seek to put down roots, and trade is a vi­tal part of the econ­omy. Shang­hai’s im­pres­sive con­nec­tiv­ity im­proves things fur­ther with bustling ports, a pair of mas­sive air­ports, and high­way and rail links that span across the re­gion.

Western com­pa­nies can use Shang­hai as an en­try point into all of China’s con­sumer mar­kets, ac­cord­ing to Dr. Stephanie Crofton, as­so­ciate dean of the Phillips School of Busi­ness at High Point Uni­ver­sity. The city is a key link in many in­ter­na­tional man­u­fac­tur­ing cor­po­ra­tions’ lo­gis­tics chains mak­ing it a pri­mary gate­way to the im­mense in­dus­trial ca­pac­ity of China and its re­li­able sub­con­trac­tors.

As a re­sult, in­ter­na­tional busi­ness travel con­tin­ues to play a sig­nif­i­cant role in the re­gion’s econ­omy. A re­cent Global Busi­ness Travel As­so­ci­a­tion re­port projects busi­ness travel spend in China is set to rise by 10.1 per­cent this year reach­ing $320.7 bil­lion, a bench­mark-set­ting fig­ure which over­takes

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