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Shanghai leaders at IBLAC invite multinationals to plant roots in city

By YUAN SHENGGAO ( China Daily Global ) 2021-10-26

Promoting opening-up

Severin Schwan, CEO of Roche Group, who took part in the IBLAC for 12 consecutive years, expressed excitement over Shanghai identifying biomedicine as one of its strategic industries.

He said Shanghai is now at a crossroad of scaling up its early success and truly establishing a world-class "in China, for the World" biomedical industry cluster and efforts have to be made to consolidate the developments.

Shanghai could facilitate academia-industry technology transfer, strengthen intellectual property protection, broaden the scope for opening-up and foreign investment in fields such as cell and gene therapy, optimize local clinical development process, accelerate local market access, strengthen manufacturing capabilities and cultivate talent, he said.

Sergio P. Ermotti, chairman of the board of directors of Swiss Re, said Shanghai has made solid progress in the construction of an international financial center, evidenced by the continual rise in its global rankings. However, the city has more to do to be a global business center.

He suggested Shanghai pay greater attention to risk management, including that of exposures to climate change and ageing population. Efforts should also be in place for Shanghai to be a global reinsurance and insurance center to attract more leading industrial players.

Martina Merz, chairwoman of the executive board and chief executive officer at Thyssenkrupp, proposed that the city to further open major and large-scale infrastructure projects supported by government to multinational companies, including innovative projects in the hightech areas. She also said that efforts can be made in areas such as creating a more transparent business environment, which lets the market play a leading role, increasing support to innovation and commercialization, and reducing over frequent flow of innovation talent.

Serving consumption trends

In recent years, continuous efforts have been made by the city government of Shanghai to support upgrade and transformation of consumption industry. In July, the State Council announced the construction of five "international consumption center cities" in China, with Shanghai included. In the city government's latest blueprint, it plans to increase annual retail consumption to 1.8 trillion yuan ($278.18 billion) by 2023.

According to Orit Gadiesh, chairperson of Bain and Company, said Shanghai, with the aim to unleash full consumption potential, needs to create a better macroenvironment to facilitate ease of business and continue attracting retailers, brands and shoppers into the city. Measures could involves three core levels: maintaining Shanghai's reputation as a premium, world-leading consumption hub; maximizing spending from local Shanghai residents; and increasing consumption from other domestic and external sources of spending.

With regard to the automotive industry, which is a pillar sector of Shanghai, Mary Barra, chairperson and CEO of General Motors, said the city is in a favorable position to maintain growth because "its citizens are among the most willing to accept new technologies and move upmarket".

Barra said Shanghai could foster automotive culture, encouraging infrastructure to support ICVs and allowing people to experience different products and services to further support automotive consumption.

In the proposal submitted by L'oreal, the company suggested that the city's industrial innovation be integrated with consumer insights. While the total consumption value should be further increased, as much importance be attached to improving consumption quality and promoting personalized consumption.

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Jiading Fahua Pagoda

The Fahua Pagoda, 40.8 meters tall, is a square, brick-wood structure with seven stories, accessible by ladders.