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December 6, 2019

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City resolves 90% of issues raised by foreign firms

About 90 percent of 186 issues raised by foreign companies in Shanghai at nine roundtables with the government so far this year have been resolved, the government said yesterday.

The city’s commerce commission introduced roundtables last year to identify companies’ needs and address them along with other government departments in an effort to make the city a better place for foreign investment.

Yang Chao, vice director of the commission, told city legislators during an inspection conference that while some issues related to policies at national level, the city government strived to solve the rest at local level.

One example was a issue from Japanese convenience store chain Lawson, which has a few hundred stores in Shanghai.

“The company asked if it was possible to have only one clerk to work overnight instead of the required two, and together with the police we gave consent and a new rule has been introduced to enable 24-hour stores with sufficient security infrastructure to have only one clerk working at night,” he said. “This saves the company a lot of labor costs.”

Among other efforts to help foreign companies in Shanghai, the government also has established constant contact with some companies to provide services when they’re in need.

“Some foreign companies which have taken judicial procedures here due to some disagreements still seek help from the government, and in this case, our commission helps them by providing them with advice from legal consultants contracted by the government,” Yang said.

The amount of foreign direct investment in Shanghai is continuing to rise, according to figures provided by the commission.

In the first 10 months of this year, Shanghai attracted 5,670 foreign investment projects and contracted US$42.1 billion of foreign investment with US$16.2 billion already invested, up 34, 16 and 12 percent, from the same period last year.

The commission also announced a coordination mechanism to follow up foreign investment projects mentioned at meetings of top officials and foreign companies to help realize the projects quickly.

Over 20 legislators took part in the conference at SAIC Volkswagen Automobile Co in Jiading District themed on the improvement of the city’s business environment.


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