Quick Facts

• Population: 24.15 million
• GDP: £ 249.6 billion (2015)
• Average life expectancy 83 years
• World’s busiest container port
• Services industries account for 70.8% of GDP
• Maglev airport express runs at 300 mph
• Shanghai Disneyland opened in 2015

Shanghai is the most populated city in the world (by urban area inhabitants), and an important global centre for commerce, trade, and Asian fashion. The city has a long history of commerce between East and West, making it the financial hub of East Asia in the early 20th century. Rapid re-development of Shanghai began in 1991 when the government opened the city’s doors to foreign investment. Today Shanghai is leading the way in China’s drive to move up the value chain towards high-tech manufacturing and the service industry.

Shanghai’s consumer market is the largest of all mainland Chinese cities, drawing the biggest and most prestigious international brands to its shopping centres. Shanghai has its own fashion week for promoting its home-grown brands. Shanghai residents are demanding international foods too. 1,500 food and drink producers from 70 countries set up stalls at the FHC event in 2012 to harness the increasing appetite for international cuisine.

Shanghai is a popular hub for tourists enjoying the Jiangnan (or “South-Yangtze-River”) areas surrounding the city. Shanghai itself is an eclectic mix of quaint old buildings and modern skyscrapers. Once known as the “Paris of the East” Shanghai’s streets are still full with remnants of colonial era European architecture, adding to its character and charm. The Shanghai Tower will be the second tallest building in the world upon completion in 2016.

Key Industries

• Financial Industry
• High-Tech Industry (computers, telecommunication, electronic information)
• Metal & Steel Industries
• Equipment Manufacturing
• Electrical Appliances
• Raw Chemical Materials & Products
• Service Industries (retail, wholesale, financial services, real estate)
• Textiles, Garments & Footwear
• Pharmaceuticals

Key Business Areas

• Shanghai Stock Exchange (SSE)

SSE is one of two stock exchanges in China, and is the 5th largest stock market in terms of market capitalisation in the world. SSE was established in 1990, it is administered by the China Securities Regulatory Commission.

• Pudong New Area

Pudong District in Shanghai has developed rapidly since the 1990s when it was transformed from agricultural land into Shanghai’s main commercial and financial hub. Pudong is home to Shanghai’s main international airport, and the skyline Shanghai has become known for.

• Nanjing Road / Huaihai Road – CBD Shopping District

– Nanjing Road is one of the main commercial streets in Shanghai where numerous shopping malls, and luxury stores, coexist with restaurants and office buildings.

– Huaihai Road, also well known by its French colonial name Avenue Joffre, which has been an upmarket shopping area since the 1930s.

• Shanghai New International Expo Center (SNIEC)

SNIEC is a popular venue for exhibitions and trade shows in Shanghai. Covering 200,000m²of indoor space, the modern and multi-functional centre hosts around 80 world-class exhibitions that attract over 3 million people every year. Located in Pudong, SNIEC is a joint venture between German Exposition Corp and Shanghai Lujiazui Exhibition Development Co. Ltd.

Businesses Opportunities

• Shanghai’s service industry growth rate is significantly higher than the manufacturing sector. It becomes the the main motivation of economy.
• Shanghai’s economic growth dependent less on investment, but more on innovation.
• The development and replication of Shanghai FTA system will bring economy bonus.
• Platform economy will drive economic transformation in Pudong, such as financial instruments trading platform, E-commerce trading platform and commodity trading platform.

Useful Online Resources

• Shanghai China
• Shanghai Daily
• Shanghai Municipal Commission of Commerce
• British Consulate-General Shanghai