Shanghai's continued efforts to attract foreign investment and drive technology innovation has created a win-win scenario which has not only facilitated the development of multinational companies but will also help generate more economic growth momentum for China, said executives and industry experts attending the forum of the 35th International Business Leaders' Advisory Council for the Mayor of Shanghai (IBLAC) to be held on Sunday.
According to Peter Voser, chairman of industrial corporation ABB Ltd, Shanghai has been a powerful driver of the Chinese economy, serving China's reform and opening-up. It has led the way in attracting investment through business-friendly steps, such as launching the China (Shanghai) Pilot Free Trade Zone, he said.
Takehiko Kakiuchi, chairman of the board of the Mitsubishi Corporation, said that Shanghai has an advanced digital management platform for the smart city and the exponentially increasing number of electric vehicles, both of which can be used as existing advantages for demand-side management.
Luxury fashion retailer Tapestry, which is known for established brands such as Coach and Stuart Weitzman, has benefited from the high level of digitalization in Shanghai, and China in general. By staying close with the digitally engaged Chinese consumers, attaching great importance to the younger generation and nurturing new designers, Tapestry is drawing inspiration from China and bringing these experiences to the rest of its operations around the world, she said.
Jean-Pascal Tricoire, chairman of Schneider Electric, gives much credit to Shanghai's achievements in green transition and the establishment of a wholesome innovation ecosystem.
Vincent Lo Hong-shui, chairman of Hong Kong-based property developer Shui On, suggested that Shanghai can introduce more favorable policies to attract research and development talents from all over the world and build more entrepreneurship-themed industrial parks to better nurture innovation in the city.
Hans Uszkoreit, a member of the European Academy of Sciences and scientific director of German Research Center for Artificial Intelligence, believed that Shanghai can grow into an artificial intelligence hub. Industries such as logistics and commerce will express the most urgent demand in using AI for their businesses, he said.
Thanks to the industrial clusters built here, especially in terms of finance, electric vehicles and aerospace, as well as the rich talent supply, Shanghai is likely to see substantial growth in the AI industry, especially in terms of application, he added.
Uszkoreit will give a keynote speech during the Sunday forum.
Themed around "Changes and new opportunities: making Shanghai a more robust and resilient international metropolis", this year's IBLAC is the first offline edition since 2020. More than 30 multinational companies' top executives will be present at the forum on Sunday.
Initiated in 1989, the IBLAC forum has grown into an international think-tank for Shanghai mayors.