Economic Watch: Multinationals highlight Shanghai's role in global economic, social recovery
19 Oct 2020


Several heads of multinational companies have highlighted Shanghai's role in global economic and social recovery at the ongoing 2020 International Business Leaders' Advisory Council for the Mayor of Shanghai (IBLAC).


According to Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) chairman John Elkann, the COVID-19 is the "ultimate test" for many enterprises and cities. As an important member of the global anti-epidemic cooperation network, Shanghai will become more powerful because of its international cooperation in fighting the epidemic.


In the first half of the year, FCA re-equipped its Comau manufacturing facility in China with a monthly capacity of producing 3 million masks across two lines. The change helped the factory not only improve epidemic prevention and control and resume main production activities in a short time, but also helped the plant become a stable medical supply provider for its Italian parent company.


With the help of the Chinese government, Global tech giant ABB's branches and factories across China have gradually resumed operations since Feb 10. In March, ABB also resumed construction of its new robotics factory in Shanghai, a strategically significant investment in China.


There were no confirmed COVID-19 cases among ABB employees in China, and business operations have not been majorly affected by the pandemic.


"We have witnessed the large and fast-growing role that digital technologies can play in helping cities navigate challenging and uncertain times, especially during the worldwide COVID-19 crisis. These technologies will enhance the resilience of urban infrastructure and the efficiency of emergency response mechanism," said ABB Ltd chairman Peter Voser.


In the opinion of Carmine Di Sibio, Chairman and CEO of Ernst & Young Global, China is the first country to experience the pandemic and achieve economic recovery.


Shanghai has launched a series of measures to optimize the business environment and stimulate market consumption in the process of epidemic prevention and control, remaining attractive to foreign investment amid global economic recession and declining returns, according to Di Sibio.


"The pandemic has set us back in the international economic order. Shanghai has done an outstanding job when it comes to city safety and is setting the world's gold standard for ease of doing business. In the long term, China has tremendous opportunities for investment and growth," he said.


According to Jean-Pascal Tricoire, chairman and CEO of Schneider Electric, through the challenge of the pandemic, digitization as a key technical trend is redefining the future of the industry.


Shanghai has a perfect and comprehensive industrial ecosystem with unique advantages in leading the digitization of the value chain.


Statistics by the Shanghai Municipal Commission of Commerce showed that in the first eight months of this year, the actual foreign direct investment in the city was 13.88 billion U.S. dollars, up 5.9 percent over the same period last year. By the end of August, Shanghai was home to 754 regional headquarters and 473 R&D centers.


Through IBLAC, which started in the late 1980s, international business leaders and heads of Shanghai municipal government have discussed the grand plan of Shanghai's opening up and jointly promoted economic and social development of the city.

Source: Xinhua