Global investors continue to see Shanghai, a city known for innovation, diversity, inclusiveness and modernity, as an ideal business destination for the long run and are keen to expand investment in the city because of its bright future.
DuPont, a science and technology company based in the United States, which has its largest research and development site outside the US in Shanghai, said it would continue to invest in R&D and open innovation facilities and capabilities, further enhancing its engagement in the innovation ecosystem of the city.
Yi Zhang, regional president of DuPont Asia Pacific, who attends the 2022 Shanghai City Promotion Convention, said the city is not only open and inclusive, but also a fertile ground for innovation.
Over the years, DuPont has made great strides in Shanghai, benefiting from the city’s quality and ever-improving business environment.
“DuPont strives to become a global innovation leader and a premier multi-industrial company and has always seen China as a very important market. Shanghai is home to DuPont China’s headquarters,” he said. “We believe that investing in Shanghai is investing in the future.”
Global professional service provider Deloitte, which partnered with the Shanghai government to publish the Shanghai Foreign Investment Guidance and White Paper for Foreign Investment Environment, also has a positive attitude toward Shanghai’s future because of the city’s strong spirit of innovation.
Lu Ying, managing partner of Deloitte Eastern Region, said Shanghai and Deloitte, which has been in the city for more than 100 years, are witnesses of each others’ development and innovation.
“Deloitte witnessed many innovation breakthroughs in Shanghai, for instance, the launch of the Shanghai Stock Exchange’s sci-tech innovation board, or the STAR Market, the establishment of the Lingang Special Area, the construction of the Hongqiao International Opening-up Hub and efforts made by the Pudong New Area in developing into a leading force for China’s socialist modernization.
“The city also witnessed Deloitte, as part of the city, promote product and service innovation and be a companion for our clients for bigger goals,” said Lu.
Lu also noted that innovation is just one of many reasons for her to recommend Shanghai as an ideal business destination.
“Shanghai has the most complete industrial chains and the least limitations on market access. It boasts strong fundamental industries but also mapped into new frontiers like the metaverse. Its well-established infrastructure, strong supportive policies and professional industrial parks, inclusive and supportive business environment and premium living environment are all key factors needed by businesses,” Lu said.
“For me, Shanghai is one of the few cities in the world which could satisfy needs and serve the imagination of global investors to the greatest extent possible.”
Deloitte has expanded operation to 30 cities in China to serve the demand for auditing, taxation and advisory services.
It also tapped into emerging industries including digitalization, sustainable development and green, low-carbon development.
A prosperous city
Shanghai, at the forefront of China’s reform and opening-up in the new era, has been committed to enhancing its business environment and service standards to support global investors.
Over the last 10 years, the city achieved outstanding results in promoting quality development with total industrial output exceeding 4 trillion yuan ($547.6 billion) in 2021. This year, it identified metaverse, smart terminals and digitalization as well as green transformation as three new engines for its future development.
Action plans released by the municipal government in early July predicted Shanghai would see the total value of its green industry exceed 500 billion yuan, the metaverse industry surpass 350 billion yuan and smart terminal and digitalization industry go over 700 billion yuan in the years to come.
Shanghai released a plan in January 2021 to build five new towns in its suburban areas, known as Jiading, Qingpu, Songjiang, Fengxian and Nanhui, to optimize its development layout and to create new engines for future growth.
Those new towns each have an industrial development direction. For example, Fengxian will develop its healthcare and cosmetics sector and is set to better integrate urban life with industrial growth.
Shanghai is aiming to be an international innovation hub, and has been increasing capital and introducing supportive policies to bolster the R&D sector.
Between 2012 and 2021, Shanghai’s R&D investment soared from 67.95 billion yuan to 181.98 billion yuan, and the ratio of expenditure on R&D in gross domestic product rose from 3.31 percent to 4.21 percent during the same period.
Shanghai also strives to improve urban life quality in fields such as healthcare and education. The average life expectancy of the population in Shanghai is 84.11 years, an increase of 1.7 years since 2012, said Shen Wei, Party secretary of the Education and Public Health Work Committee of the CPC Shanghai Municipal Committee.
Shanghai’s long-term commitment became the most powerful engine to maintain development in a time of complex challenges and dynamic change.
In the first three quarters of the year, Shanghai certified 46 regional headquarters established by multinational companies and 17 foreign-funded research and development centers.
By the end of September, the city was home to the regional headquarters of 877 multinational corporations, as well as 523 foreign-funded R&D centers.
Recovery in progress
Shanghai experienced an economic slowdown in the first half of 2022 due to the COVID-19 pandemic and uncertainties in the global market. The city recorded better-than-expected economic results though in the first nine months of 2022.
The city government said Shanghai’s economy is on track for a V-shaped recovery in its major economic indicators in the third quarter, reflecting its strong resilience and vitality.
In the first nine months, Shanghai’s GDP stood at 3.1 trillion yuan, a 1.4 percent decline year-on-year. While that was down from the same period a year ago, that figure represented an improvement of 4.3 percentage points over the year-to-year percentage change of the first six months.
Its industrial added value of enterprises with annual revenue of 20 million yuan or above grew 14.9 percent year-on-year.
The city also recorded recovery signals in areas such as consumption.
The new energy vehicle industry reported a 65.4 percent year-on-year increase in the third quarter.
From January to September, the new-generation of information technology industry and the biomedicine industry recorded a year-on-year growth of 13.8 percent and 5.8 percent, respectively.
Foreign trade maintained a two-digit growth rate for three consecutive months since July. The total volume of foreign trade increased 16.6 percent year-on-year.
In an effort to better manage market uncertainties and bolster business recovery, especially of hard-hit industries, Shanghai is setting more policies to boost the business environment and unleash its market potential. Shanghai’s government announced on Sept 28 some 22 new measures, on top of the 50 measures released at the end of May and 21 measures in March, to bolster economic recovery in the city.
Companies in Shanghai have seen signs of recovery in the last few months. CBRE, a worldwide real estate services and investment company, said Shanghai’s economy has been steadily revived, new momentum has been accumulated, and the level of opening-up has further improved.
“Positive trends can be seen in the commercial real estate sector where our company is located. Our latest data shows that office leasing demand in Shanghai in the third quarter rose more than 270 percent quarter-on-quarter, and was the largest in China,” the company said.
Benefiting from Shanghai’s sound service system and investment environment for foreign-funded enterprises, CBRE’s professional real estate consulting services have maintained high-quality development. CBRE established its China headquarters in Shanghai in 2018 for the city’s openness, innovation and inclusive environment.
Promoting Shanghai at CIIE
The 2022 Shanghai City Promotion Convention, an annual investment event during the China International Import Expo, opens on Sunday to showcase the charms of the city.
The 2022 session features welcome speeches, keynote speeches, release of policies, and a new projects signing ceremony. Government officials of Shanghai, executives of global companies, representatives of international organizations and research institutes are attending the event. Before the convention, promotional activities were organized around the world in the cities of Los Angeles, the US; Frankfurt, Germany; Osaka, Japan; and London, the United Kingdom.
“The Shanghai City Promotion Convention, held at the same period with the CIIE for three consecutive years, fully demonstrates Shanghai’s confidence and determination in opening up to the outside world,” said Zhang from DuPont.
Over the last few years, the annual CIIE has played a vital role in attracting foreign investors to Shanghai. The trade fair not only offered a platform for global exhibitors to sell their products, but also allowed enterprises to look into the Chinese market and observe the latest market trends.
“The annual CIIE is an international event that brings together the world’s most high-quality and dynamic trade investors to China and Shanghai. It is a major measure taken by China to promote a new round of high-level opening-up and economic globalization,” Zhu Yi, deputy director of the Shanghai Commission of Commerce, said while attending a promotional event on Oct 20.
Italian healthcare equipment developer DiaSorin decided to construct a production plant in Baoshan district of Shanghai after taking part at the 2020 CIIE. Its new plant will begin operations next year.
The company also plans to move its R&D center to Shanghai in 2023 to better serve the local market. Looking ahead, Shanghai will amplify the spillover effects of the CIIE to attract more quality foreign investment projects to the area.
Companies have been coming under increasing regulatory pressure to do more to encourage gender diversity and several leading banks are now led by women, including NatWest.
However, large financial institutions have employed few trans people in senior roles. Pips Bunce, an executive at Credit Suisse who identifies as gender fluid and has been named as an inspirational leader in the British LGBT Awards, is one of the few non-binary people to hold a senior position in the City of London.
Other financial companies have brought in policies in a bid to appear more inclusive.
Several high street banks, including NatWest, have trialled uniforms that include optional pronouns printed on badges.
The policies have provoked a backlash in some quarters. Halifax told customers last year “if you disagree with our values, you’re welcome to close your account” after some people took offence to the listing of favoured pronouns on staff badges.
In another instance of support for the trans community, PayPal froze the account of the Free Speech Union, an organisation that defends gender-critical academics and people who have lost work for expressing opinions.
However, the payments company later reversed the decision after being accused of a “orchestrated, politically motivated” ban.
Ms Tomlinson said that before she transitioned, she thought coming out as trans would end her career.
She said: “The idea of coming out of trans was terrifying, I thought it would be career suicide. I assumed it would blow up my career.
“But once I started leaning into my truth, I realised I had no other option. It was terrifying to do it first but it was also terrifying in many small ways, like going to my first big meeting or walking into a room for the first time and going through a client’s office. It was all just new and scary.”
Before setting up Saône, Ms Tomlinson, 37, founded several businesses including boutique advisory firm RWT Growth.
While she does not consider herself an “advocate” for trans people, she said she hopes her profile will encourage more trans people into the finance industry.
Ms Tomlinson said: “One of the things I really started to do was to embrace giving people the realisation that they can achieve it too, whether that’s being trans or whatever they have going on, they can be truthful to who they are.
“For me, there weren’t very many people that I saw in the community that I could look up to as role models. I want to provide some level of motivation and inspiration to people.”
Ms Tomlinson said Saône will not be marketed as a trans-led fund, adding: “I don’t like when you hear people talking about female founded funds or in my situation a trans female fund.
“I’m not interested in that because our performance should be our number one priority. It shouldn’t be about who I am.
“If we can use it to our benefit then it will maybe help normalise being trans in finance. But our number one goal is about making an impact and it’s not about me being a trans female founder.”
However, she argued that her being trans could still be a competitive advantage.
“Some founders are coming to us and saying ‘you get what we need, we can talk to you’. They understand that we realise what they’re going through, versus older white male-led businesses that can’t necessarily relate. It’s given us a competitive advantage in some ways.”
Saône invests in companies and provides advice. It specialises in funding and advising “ethical” companies and those with founders from minority backgrounds.
Ms Tomlinson currently splits her time between London and Canada, where she grew up and Saône has its main base.
The company, founded in 2022, already operates in the US and Canada. Its new London office will be used as its base to expand into Europe.
The fund manages $13m (£10.5m) at present, but is aiming to have $1bn under management by 2027.
Ms Tomlinson said: “Our goal is to help companies that are positively impacting the planet and those that are coming from underrepresented founders.”
Saône provides money to companies in several different industries, including renewable energy, battery storage, and clean water. Current investments include an e-scooter charging company and a marketplace for second hand clothing.
Ms Tomlinson said: “During my career, I had my own things to deal with obviously being trans. And as I stepped into my truth it dawned on me that I wanted to do something that was positive, rather than just making founder and leadership teams more money.
“We’re looking to back businesses that can make an impact while also making a lot of money and I don’t think the two are mutually exclusive.”
The company’s investments so far have ranged between $250,000 and $5m.
Making sure that members of the Canadian Coast Guard have the equipment they need to keep Canada’s waterways navigable and safe is a key priority for the Government of Canada. That includes the Canadian Coast Guard’s small vessels, which play a critical role in our fleet, especially in shallow coastal waters and inland lakes and rivers where larger ships cannot operate.
Today, the Honourable Joyce Murray, Minister of Fisheries and Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard announced a major investment to fund the completion of the renewal of the Canadian Coast Guard’s small vessels fleet.
The Honourable Helena Jaczek, Minister of Public Services and Procurement also took part in the announcement from St. John’s, Newfoundland and Labrador, along with Joanne Thompson, Member of Parliament for St. John’s East and Churence Rogers, Member of Parliament for Bonavista—Burin—Trinity. The investment, valued at $2.5 billion, provides for up to 61 small vessels and the ongoing replacement of small craft, barges and work boats with new modern equipment.
This investment will help modernize the Canadian Coast Guard’s small vessel fleet, so that they can keep Canadian waterways and Canadians safe, while creating good-paying jobs across Canada.
This investment will complete the renewal of the Canadian Coast Guard’s small vessels fleet and enable the Canadian Coast Guard to acquire up to:
Six Mid-shore Multi-Mission Vessels;
One Near-Shore Fishery Research Vessel;
16 Specialty Vessels comprised of:
Two Special NavAids Vessels;
Four Special Shallow Draft Buoy Tenders
Four Inshore Science Vessels
Four Special Enforcement Vessels
Two Lake Class Vessels;
Four Air Cushion Vehicles; and
34 Cape Class Search and Rescue Lifeboats.
The procurement of these small vessels will provide opportunities for smaller shipyards and suppliers across Canada, supporting good-paying jobs in our marine industry.
The National Shipbuilding Strategy is creating jobs in Canada’s shipbuilding industry and marine sector, and providing Canadian Coast Guard members with the equipment they need to continue their important work. Under the National Shipbuilding Strategy, 16 small vessels including 14 Search and Rescue lifeboats and two Channel Survey and Sounding Vessels have been delivered to the Canadian Coast Guard.
Contracts under the National Shipbuilding Strategy are estimated to have contributed approximately $21.26 billion ($1.93 billion annually) to Canada’s gross domestic product, and created or maintained over 18,000 jobs annually between 2012 and 2022.
“This is a critical investment that will help modernize the Canadian Coast Guard’s small vessel fleet. We are making sure the Canadian Coast Guard has the equipment it needs to keep Canadians and Canada’s waterways safe, while also creating good-paying jobs across the country.”
Joyce Murray, Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard
“Through the National Shipbuilding Strategy, the government is providing the members of the Canadian Coast Guard with the ships they need to carry out their important work for Canadians. This significant investment also will create more jobs, generate significant economic benefits and help grow the marine industry throughout Canada.”
Helena Jaczek, Minister of Public Services and Procurement
BioScout’s technology can alert farmers that a disease is about to strike their crop. (Photo: Business Wire)
This investment will not only support the ongoing growth of BioScout within Australia, as well as facilitate their international growth — starting with their expansion into North America with offices in Saskatoon.
This investment followed BioScout’s participation in GAAP’s Navigate program in 2022, where CEO & Founder Lewis Collins and Head of Science Michelle Demers were able to spend an extended period within Canada, benefitting from GAAP’s customized programming and one-on-one concierge services. Their exploratory trip to Canada was an unbelievable success: while here they met with investors, farmers and other industry experts.
BioScout’s product can find the “unseeable” and react to disease presence weeks before it could impact the yield of your crop. Seeing real-time and pre-symptomatic disease data allows the end-user to save yield and minimize fungicide resistance. With the airborne disease tracking platform, farmers are alerted when disease is going to strike and learn what they can do about it. BioScout catches and analyzes air particles to let farmers know what is happening in their field.
“We are very excited to expand BioScout into Canada and deliver our world-first disease detection and management technologies to Canadian growers. Canada’s dynamic agricultural sector is a perfect fit for BioScout sharing our values, culture and aspirations for profitable and sustainable farming. Partnering with GAAP(Navigate) has given BioScout the opportunity to accelerate our expansion into Canada and base ourselves within the Saskatchewan community. BioScout is now working with local growers and scientists to enable our technology to best serve Canadian farmers.” Lewis Collins, CEO, BioScout.
The team at GAAP is very excited to work with BioScout and their new innovative product. GAAP sees BioScout as a huge new player in the area of disease detection and sustainable practices. By detecting diseases weeks before they start to affect your crop and yields, BioScout can help farmers across Canada and North America to reduce the use of sprays. BioScout has applications in many crops including broad acre crop production, vineyards and fruit and vegetable production.