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November 7, 2011

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Home » District » Fengxian

Supporting vital SMEs

SMALL- and medium-sized enterprises are the bread and butter of Fengxian District, which goes to great lengths to support them, advise them and help them find financing for development and expansion. Wing Tan reports.

The official website has been launched for Fengxian's small- and medium-sized enterprises, providing an open and free platform for the district's SMEs.

The website has 10 channels, including the latest government announcements, corporate news, information on preferential policies, new projects, lectures, as well as complaints.

"The website tailor-made for the SMEs is a bridge linking them with other enterprises and government departments," says Zhang Yiming, deputy director of Fengxian Economic Affairs Committee. "Through this platform, we can collect first-hand information from our enterprises and thus provide a better service for them."

Fengxian District plays an increasingly important role in Shanghai's economic development and is becoming a new hub for SMEs in China.

Privately owned SMEs account for the majority of Fengxian's economy, and they have become a major source of revenue. SMEs account for 99.9 percent of the total number of enterprises, contributing 95 percent of the district's tax revenue.

They have been integrated into the district's nationally rated export processing zone and into seven large-scale industrial parks engaged in new materials manufacturing, new energy development, biomedical research and development, chemical engineering, yacht manufacturing, power transmission and distribution, electronics, medical services, logistics and agriculture.

"Fengxian doesn't benefit much from the heavy, large-scale industry and doesn't get much support from big projects. Thus, SMEs, especially those privately owned, have become the district's bread and butter," says Yuan Xiaolin, the district government's spokesman.

At the end of last year, Fengxian had more than 60,000 SMEs, with a total production value of 129.3 billion yuan (US$20 billion) in 2010, an increase by 17.8 percent. The SMEs employ more than 350,000 people.

Through joint efforts of the local government, investment banks and other financial institutions, Fengxian District has established a fund-raising platform for SMEs. This has greatly helped relieve financing problems that hold back development and expansion.

By the end of 2010, the platform has helped raise more than 600 million yuan for 791 enterprises.

In 1999 the Fengxian Loan Center for SMEs, the city's first financial institution of its kind, was set up to help them raise funds.

At the same time three finance houses and a village bank affiliated to Shanghai Pudong Development Bank were established, offering more financing channels for SMEs.

So far they have granted more than 1.8 million yuan in loans, accounting for almost 74 percent of the total loans.

Since 2006, preferential policies have been launched to support SMEs.

More than 20 million yuan is granted each year to encourage technical innovation, talent retention and brand building.

Subsidies worth another 20 million yuan are available for energy saving and consumption reduction.

District towns and industrial parks also work with the local government. Nanqiao Town has established a special 1 million yuan foundation to award innovative enterprises each year.

Fengxian is also the city's first district to set up a service center for SMEs, offering free consulting and lectures.

A hot line helps companies raise funds and apply for SME special grants from the central government. There's also advice on stock market listings.

In 2007, Fengxian set up the SME Business Headquarters Zone as one of Shanghai's 20 modern tertiary industrial hubs.

The zone is a modern, diversified and first-class facility for business people, especially those from its neighboring Zhejiang Province.

It features cheaper rents and lower logistics and labor costs compared with Shanghai's other financial zones such as the Xujiahui Central Business District and the Lujiazui Financial Zone in the Pudong New Area that have attracted many multinational companies.

The zone in Fengxian is a good choice for many SMEs.

In the district's core area of Nanqiao New City, the zone has attracted companies such as China Union Pay. At the same time a high-tech enterprises incubator was set up.

The headquarters project, covering around 1.5 square kilometers, includes a Central Business District, a 110,000-square-meter China SME Tower and a 300,000-square-meter plaza, funded by Shanghai Nanfang International Group.


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