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2018-11-02 | Shanghai

European Chamber provides recommendations on how Shanghai can fulfil its global ambitions

Shanghai, 2nd November 2018 – The European Union Chamber of Commerce in China (European Chamber) today published its third Shanghai Position Paper 2018/2019 (Shanghai Position Paper), which provides a critical evaluation of Shanghai’s business environment and recommendations on how it can improve. It argues that Shanghai should seize the opportunity presented by the China International Import Expo (CIIE) to demonstrate that it can lead on reform and opening up, and begin to trim the ‘reform deficit’ that is preventing both Shanghai and China as a whole from achieving their well-publicised development goals.

The report focuses on Shanghai’s ‘five centres’ development plan, in which it aims to become a global economic, financial, trade, shipping and innovation centre by 2020. With less than two years to go, Shanghai has significant challenges to overcome if it is to meet these objectives. The Shanghai Position Paper calls for specific, meaningful changes that will create a fair and open market for European firms in the city. Measures such as ensuring reasonable access to banking licences, harmonising the local and national customs systems and providing equal opportunities for all service providers in the shipping industry are recommended, as this will help to foster the kind of business environment required from a global centre of business. The report also presents concrete recommendations for Shanghai to improve the city’s quality of life in order to attract and retain the best talent that China and the world have to offer, by addressing issues such as the cost and availability of international medical facilities, and the sustainability and safety of the traffic system.  

“Shanghai was chosen to host the CIIE due to the important role the city has historically played in China’s opening-up process, but meaningful progress can only be claimed when major structural challenges are positively dealt with and international companies can compete on a equal footing with domestic ones,” said Carlo D’Andrea, vice president of the European Union Chamber of Commerce in China and chairman of its Shanghai chapter. “The CIIE may well help many countries to reduce their trade deficits with China, but it will not help Shanghai to become a global centre or China to reduce its internal reform deficit.” 

To download the Shanghai Position Paper 2018/2019, please click here.


About the Shanghai Position Paper

The European Chamber started incorporating local focus papers into our main lobbying publication, the European Business in China Position Paper, in 2010. The Shanghai Position Paper 2018/2019 is the third standalone edition of the Shanghai Position Paper and continues the series of standalone local Position Papers that the European Chamber has been releasing since January 2015.

About the European Union Chamber of Commerce in China

The European Union Chamber of Commerce in China (European Chamber) was founded in 2000 by 51 member companies that shared a goal of establishing a common voice for the various business sectors of the European Union and European businesses operating in China. It is a members-driven, non-profit, fee-based organisation with a core structure of 31 working groups and fora representing European business in China. The European Chamber is recognised by the European Commission and the Chinese authorities as the official voice of European business in China.

About the European Chamber’s Shanghai Chapter

The Shanghai chapter of the European Union Chamber of Commerce in China was opened in 2002 and is currently the largest chapter in terms of number of member companies. It hosts over 21 active Working Groups and three Forums, as well as the China Desks for a number of European industry associations, such as the Independent (Auto) Aftermarket (AM) Desk, and the European Heating Industry (EHI). The chapter has strong relations with various branches of the local government including regular strategic dialogues with the Shanghai Development and Reform Commission (SDRC), the Shanghai Municipal Commission of Commerce (SCOFCOM), and the Shanghai Customs Bureau.

For more information please contact

Max Merkle

Yichi Zhang

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