China’s financial hub prepares for a post-COVID era.
Shanghai is ramping up efforts to improve its market access as part of a benchmark program to inject more economic vitality into China’s financial center following years of pandemic-related uncertainties.
Officials from the city’s municipal government gathered Saturday to discuss plans for better attracting and serving business operators in the coming year. Since 2018, the annual meeting has made a range of efforts to improve Shanghai’s business-enabling environment by streamlining the process for starting businesses, tax applications, and cross-border trading, among others.
Over the past five years, Shanghai has implemented over 750 new policies for improving market access, drawing more than 2.25 million new market entities of various types. The figure represents a 52.7% increase compared with the previous five years, domestic media reported.
Shanghai remains one of China’s most economically active cities with the number of enterprises per 1,000 people reaching 111, ranking the first in the country with roughly one in 10 people owning a business.
Gong Zheng, Shanghai’s mayor, said earlier this year that marketization, legalization, and internationalization were the city’s “secrets” for building a friendly business environment. He added that Shanghai received a record $23.5 billion in foreign investments in 2022.
With China dismantling its COVID-19 control policies, the country aims to boost its economy affected by the pandemic in the past three years. Shanghai, China’s most affluent city, aims for economic growth of 5.5% this year, up from 3% last year when the city was entirely locked down in April and May.
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