Suhe Bay emerges as magnet for investment

Suhe Bay emerges as magnet for investment

Ti Gong

Suhe Bay has emerged as a new magnet for investment in Jing’an. The Suhe Bay Functional Zone, as its name suggests, encompasses the district’s waterfront areas along Suzhou Creek.

It boasts a 6.3-kilometer shoreline and covers an area of 4.2 square kilometers.

Nearly a century ago, Suhe Bay was one of the most prosperous downtown areas and the cradle of China’s modern-day finance and commerce. It witnessed the birth of the country’s first silk reeling factory, the Yutong flour mill, Fuxin flour mill and other early significant national industrial enterprises.

Suhe Bay is also encoded with haipai (Shanghai-style) DNA.

The area has nearly 500,000 square meters of historical buildings, including the former residences of a number of celebrities such as ink-wash painter and calligrapher Wu Changshuo, early revolutionary Song Jiaoren, and wartime hero Lieutenant Colonel Xie Jinyuan.

Other prominent historical sites include Tianhou Palace, the city’s largest temple to Mazu (the goddess of the sea) that dates back to the late 19th century; and Shenyuli, once one of the city’s best-preserved shikumen (stone-gate) neighborhoods in the 1930s.

However, the area declined due to industrial development and urban expansion. Urban renewals in recent years have helped revive the area’s former glory.

Under Shanghai’s “One River, One Creek” shoreline project, Suhe Bay will become a world-class waterfront central activity zone in the country’s 14th Five-Year Plan (2021-2025) period, on par with world-class waterfront areas in Paris, London and Singapore.

This month, in the second year of “Our Water,” a river-inspired initiative to promote exchanges and cooperation between Shanghai and other world metropolises, Suhe Bay was promoted in Paris, and potential cooperation between La Défense near the Seine was sought.

Suhe Bay is now well on its way to become an investment hub.

Statistics show that the area generated tax revenues of 11.62 billion yuan (US$1.6 billion) in 2023, up 14.71 percent on a year earlier. In the first three months of this year, that figure hit 3.498 billion yuan.

The area is now home to 23 regional headquarters of multinational companies, such as consultancy Roland Berger, advertising leader WPP, consumer group Kao, fashion brand Coach, pharmaceutical giant AstraZeneca and private securities investment fund manager Sumitomo Mitsui DS Private Fund Management.

They specialize in different sectors, which helps to promote the area’s development in trade services, finance services, technology services, and more, as well as to create a vibrant business ecosystem.

Wang Lei, global executive vice president of AstraZeneca, said Suhe Bay has helped to better promote innovation and international cooperation after the company based its research and development center in Jing’an.

Qian Fang, chief financial officer of Roland Berger China, complimented the area’s business ambience.

He especially noted the “Suhe One Space” and “Suhe One CEO-Net,” which, provide platforms for local companies and executives to exchange information and seek cooperation. The latest policies are also explained.

“It’s very helpful to expand business,” Qian said.

The beautiful waterfront landscapes and rich cultural ambience two major reasons attracting business to come.

With the launch of the “Art Ripples” campaign in 2023, an art corridor is taking shape in Suhe Bay, which now boasts 170 cultural spots, especially top-class art institutions such as Sotheby’s, UCCA Edge and Fotografiska.

As part of the campaign, an art alliance has been established that brings together waterfront art institutions, commercial complexes and other industrial giants.

In addition, more historical buildings will be renovated to become modern exhibition halls, and tours that link cultural spots and that are integrated with river cruises will be launched.

Popular cultural and sports events such as Shining Shanghai Festival and Shanghai River Regatta also help to jazz up the area. More events, such as an urban camping festival, are in the planning stage.


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