Pudong builds itself into core bearer of Shanghai international financial center

Skyscrapers erect at the Lujiazui Finance and Trade Zone, Shanghai, Nov. 12. Photo by Zhou Dong Chao/People's Daily Online

23.8 million yuan ($3.6 million)! That’s the transaction volume taking place at the Shanghai Stock Exchange (SSE) every second, which makes the stock market the world’s fourth largest in terms of annual transaction and the third largest by market cap.

10,000 TEUs (twenty-foot equivalent units)! That’s the daily cargo volume handled at the fourth-phase automated terminal at Shanghai’s Yangshan Deep Water Port, the largest fully automated terminal in the world.

300! That’s the number of patents acquired by Shanghai’s Zhangjiang Hi-Tech Park each month, where world-leading labs and first-class major scientific infrastructure are gathering.

310 billion yuan! That’s the investment attracted to China (Shanghai) Pilot Free Trade Zone Lin-Gang Special Area since the area was inaugurated more than a year ago.

Shanghai’s Pudong district made historical achievements in the past 30 years of development and opening-up. Its GDP rose from around 6.02 billion yuan in 1990 to 1.27 trillion yuan last year, and the district has become a core area that houses international economic, financial, trade, shipping and technological innovation centers.

“Finance is the blood of modern economy, and is key to the allocation of global resources,” said Hang Yingwei, deputy secretary-general of the Shanghai municipal government and the head of Pudong district. Pudong is making great efforts to improve its international influence and accelerate the construction of the core area of the Shanghai international financial center, he added.

Earlier this year, Allianz China General Insurance Company Ltd. was opened in Pudong, becoming the first fully foreign-owned insurance holding company in China. Chen Liang, vice general manager of the company, believes that the establishing of the firm demonstrates the resolution of Pudong to open up its financial sector and build a higher-level open economy.

After years of development, Pudong is now leading the country regarding the agglomeration of foreign-funded banks, foreign-funded reinsurance organizations, and joint-venture securities firms.

According to Zhang Hong, head of Pudong’s financial work bureau, Shanghai is planning to implement new measures of financial opening-up first in Pudong, to gather a batch of pioneering and functional financial institutes and build a new high ground for financial agglomeration.

Pudong is home to over 10 financial factor markets and infrastructure of stocks, bonds, futures, insurance, trust and foreign exchange, including the Shanghai International Energy Exchange, the Shanghai Gold Exchange, and the Shanghai Insurance Exchange. It is one of the most complete and active financial factor markets in the world. Some trade categories have already gained international influence.

Launching the Shanghai-Hong Kong Stock Connect, Shanghai-London Stock Connect, and China-Japan ETF Connectivity, the SSE has connected domestic and overseas capital markets. Besides, it also co-established the China Europe International Exchange and Astana International Exchange with foreign capital.

In 2014, China (Shanghai) Pilot Free Trade Zone launched the free trade account system for local and foreign currencies, which further strengthened cross-border RMB businesses and brought constant growth of the two-way cross-border RMB cash pooling. The free trade account was approved in September this year to support Shanghai’s development of offshore businesses.

In the first three quarters of this year, 113 companies were listed on the Sci-Tech innovation board of the SSE with a total financing volume of 27.46 billion yuan. After the implementation of a registration system, it takes enterprises an average of 5 to 6 months on application, approval and listing.

The government of Pudong and the SSE jointly established a Yangtze River Delta service base to respond to enterprises’ financing demand, and 10 major services have been launched that cover the whole life cycle of enterprises.

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