Shang­hai, San Fran­cisco in­creas­ing busi­ness ties

China Daily (Canada) - - FRONT PAGE - By LIA ZHU in San Fran­cisco li­azhu@chinadailyusa.com

The sis­ter cities of Shang­hai and San Fran­cisco are team­ing up to boost busi­ness with each other.

An in­vest­ment con­fer­ence was held on Tues­day in San Fran­cisco be­tween China (Shang­hai) Free Trade Zone (SHFTZ), the first pi­lot free trade zone of China, and the San Fran­cisco-Shang­hai Sis­ter City Com­mit­tee, at which the two cities signed a Mem­o­ran­dum of Un­der­stand­ing.

“This is a crit­i­cally im­por­tant step in the ex­pan­sion of Cal­i­for­nia’s re­la­tion­ship with China and Shang­hai,” said Cal­i­for­nia Lt Gover­nor Gavin New­som, who also at­tended the con­fer­ence’s open­ing cer­e­mony.

“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,” he said.

Es­tab­lished in 2013, the SHFTZ has at­tracted nu­mer­ous busi­nesses from both home and abroad with its open in­vest­ment man­age­ment, trad­ing ser­vices and reg­u­la­tory en­vi­ron­ment, said Liu Hong, gen­eral manager of Shang­hai Waigao­qiao Free Trade Zone United Devel­op­ment Co, which man­ages the SHFTZ.

By mid-April this year, 17,373 en­ter­prises have been es­tab­lished in the FTZ, and 3,114 of them are for­eign in­vest­ment com­pa­nies. As for over­seas in­vest­ment, the free trade zone has fa­cil­i­tated more than 280 projects with a to­tal in­vest­ment of $9 bil­lion, ac­cord­ing to Liu.

“We not only wel­come over­seas mer­chants to in­vest in China but also are will­ing to fa­cil­i­tate Chi­nese cap­i­tal for over­seas busi­nesses,” Liu said.

Dur­ing a fol­low-on ses­sion on Tues­day af­ter­noon, 10 busi­nesses in the San Fran­cisco Bay Area were ex­pected to present their projects to around eight Chi­nese in­vestors who are vis­it­ing with the SHFTZ del­e­ga­tion.

“The projects in­clude real es­tate, high tech, health­care and in­no­va­tive prod­ucts such as an en­vi­ron­men­tally friendly di­a­pers and a gad­get for con­trol­ling blood pres­sure,” said 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 said.

Fang said that en­hanc­ing bi­lat­eral in­vest­ment would im­prove the two coun­tries’ re­la­tion­ship. “More in­vest­ment into the US means more job op­por­tu­ni­ties,” he said.

San Fran­cisco Mayor Ed Lee agreed.

“San Fran­cisco as the Gate­way to the Pa­cific and through its many US-Sino or­ga­ni­za­tions, in­clud­ing the San Fran­cisco Shang­hai Sis­ter City Com­mit­tee, which has ex­panded our 35 years of friend­ship with Shang­hai, wel­comes this over­seas in­vest­ment that will add an­other level of co­op­er­a­tion, cre­ate good-pay­ing jobs, keeps jobs lo­cally and strength­ens our grow­ing econ­omy,” he said in a press re­lease on Mon­day.

Gavin New­som,

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