Twelve major foreign-funded projects will soon get underway in Shanghai, as the city maintains its position as a hotbed of foreign investment.
Data center solution provider GDS, SAIC General Motors, and German commercial vehicle supplier SAF-Holland are among a list of companies pledging a total investment of 23.4 billion yuan ($3.37 billion) in Shanghai, the municipal government announced at a contract signing ceremony on Saturday.
The largest proposed investment comes from Nio, an electric vehicle startup that promises a fresh injection of 16.6 billion yuan in the research and development of electric, smart, internet-connected and lightweight cars.
French sporting goods retailer Decathlon is scheduled to set up a sports equipment headquarters in Shanghai with an estimated investment of 1 billion yuan, and Japanese pharmaceutical company Takeda plans to add 809 million yuan to its Shanghai operation and is on course to introduce seven new medicines to the Chinese market over the next five years.
"The waves of investment show that Shanghai has become a critical hub for multinational corporations and an engine of growth. Their long-term optimism about investing in Shanghai remains unchanged," said Shang Yuying, director of the Shanghai Commerce Commission.
Also on Saturday, Swiss industrial conglomerate ABB Group said it will invest $150 million to build its "largest and most advanced" factory in Shanghai.
Production is expected to begin by the end of 2020 and annual capacity will be around 100,000 robots, one-quarter of ABB's global demand last year, said visiting CEO Ulrich Spiesshofer, who identified Shanghai as a "vital center for advanced technology leadership - for ABB and the world".
The new 60,000-square-meter plant will feature cutting-edge technologies such as machine learning, enabling it to manufacture a wide range of industrial robots.
The company also signed a comprehensive strategic cooperation agreement with the municipal government on supporting industry, energy, transport and infrastructure in the region, in relation to the "Made in Shanghai" manufacturing initiative proposed by local authorities last year.
In the first nine months of 2018, the city attracted 3,704 new foreign-funded projects, up 17.8 percent year-on-year, according to the municipal government. During the same period, contracted foreign funds, an indicator of future commitments of capital, grew 20.4 percent to $33.62 billion.