Shanghai Office

Asian Cities

1H 2014


Following the historical economic reform led by Deng Xiaoping in the 1970s, Shanghai has become one of the strongest performers of all mainland cities, registering a remarkable nominal GDP compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 13.5% between 2000 and 2010. In an effort to accelerate the city’s development, the State Council hastened plans to turn the city into an international financial hub and shipping centre in 2009.

In the late 2000s, due to weak external demand, a strong renminbi, and rising labour and raw material costs, China’s economic growth slowed to single digits. The manufacturing sector has remained sluggish for the last two years as the Purchasing Managers Index has been close to 50. Foreign direct investment saw negative growth in 2012, suggesting global concerns over China’s sustainability. Given such challenges, the present central government are demonstrating strong ambition in revitalising the economy through a range of measures, the highlight of which is the launch of the Shanghai Pilot Free Trade Zone (SPFTZ). Although still at its initial stage, details of the reform have started to roll out, especially in the finance sector.


Key contacts

Simon Smith

Simon Smith

Senior Director
Research & Consultancy

Two Exchange Square

+852 2842 4573


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