Shandong upgrades business environment for foreign companies

(| Updated : 2022-06-14

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Staff members make industrial robots in a precision machinery company in Yantai, East China's Shandong province on June 8, 2022. [Photo/VCG]

In recent years, Shandong province has been ramping up efforts to stabilize foreign investment and provide a better business environment and services for foreign companies.

The province has issued a number of policies and measures aimed at promoting the high-quality development of foreign-funded projects and companies, including the guidelines on deepening reform and innovation to make Shandong a new frontier for opening-up, the 32 guidelines on stabilizing foreign trade and foreign investment, the 20 guidelines on making high-quality use of foreign investment, and the implementation of the RCEP advance action plan.

According to official data, 31 Fortune 500 companies invested in 55 projects in Shandong in 2020. Among them, four Fortune 500 companies, including Sharp Corporation, invested in Shandong for the first time. In 2021, the number of Fortune 500 companies investing in projects in Shandong increased to 69. Five fortune 500 companies, including Goodyear, LIoyds Bank and ORIX, invested in Shandong for the first time.

Asia Symbol (Shandong) Pulp and Paper Co based in Rizhao, is the largest foreign enterprise in Shandong province. In April, the company's raw materials could not be delivered on time due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The local government has offered tailored services to help smooth out the operations supply chain and ensure the company's operations return to normal.

The high-quality business environment is also a confidence booster for foreign companies to expand investment in Shandong.

According to Li Runming, a general manager at Asia Symbol (Shandong) Pulp and Paper Co, the company has raised capital nine times in a row since 2005, which has generated more than 20 billion yuan ($2.97 billion), making it China's largest commercial wood pulp production and supply enterprise and a leading enterprise in Shandong's paper industry.

It has developed over 400 pulp and paper upstream and downstream enterprises in Shandong, as well as created over 10,000 jobs, Li added.

Shandong has also launched an online service platform to help address difficulties in enterprise production and operations.

In the first four months of this year, there were 552 newly established foreign-invested enterprises in Shandong, with actual utilized foreign capital hitting $7.82 billion, up 12.7 percent year-on-year.