The Consulate General of Switzerland in Shanghai - Commercial Section
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ISSUE N° 5 March, 2001


Shanghai has 14 municipal administrative districts and 5 suburban counties. During its fast economic development these years, a very interesting trend is enfolding: each area is trying to discover its own resources and thus cultivate specific advantages to develop a kind of characteristic economy. Here are two examples of Hongkou district and Xuhui district.


Hongkou district is located in the north-east of Shanghai. East Daming Road in the south of this district neighbours the 2-km coast of the north Huangpu river. The Shanghai Shipping Street (SSS) refers to the area that centres on the East Daming Road. In details, the 1.3 km-long SSS starts from Shanghai Shipping Exchange on Yangshupu Road in the east and extends to the Waihongqiao International Passenger Terminal in the west.

In fact, the forming of shipping business in this area dates back to the middle of the 19th century after British East India Company built a simple barge dock on today's East Daming road in 1845 and a huge ocean liner of British Blue Chimney Ship Company for the first time berthed at the Hongkou dock. Since the Gongping Road Passenger Terminal was built in 1969 and the Waihongqiao Passenger Terminal was built in 1973, the Huangpu river coastal part in Hongkou district has been one of the busiest ports in Shanghai, dealing with cargo to more than 150 countries and regions. Since the early 1990s, container volume handled through the Port of Shanghai has grown by 30%. In 1999, the Shanghai Port ranked 7th in the world in terms of container handling volume. Last year, Shanghai outperformed its nearest rival Long Beach. As the Port of Shanghai is intending to become one of the world's leading containers ports, shipping or shipping related enterprises are trying to enter the market. According to the figures from Shanghai Shipping Exchange Market, by 1999, there are over 70 container international transportation shipping companies in Shanghai, of which 10 are sino-foreign joint ventures and 42 are wholly foreign-owned. 

Based on the historic background and the modern development, in August of 1998, the Hongkou district government signed the contract with the Municipal Leaders Group Office of Shanghai International Shipping Centre to jointly build the "Shipping Street". Slums were torn down and new buildings sprang up instead. In addition to infrastructure improvement, the government has 
lifted the face of the area by building amenities such as restaurants, shops and entertainment clubs. The Shanghai International Shipping Service Centre also moved to the No.88 Yangshupu Road. Since then, led by the first national waterway exchange the Shanghai Shipping Exchange, China Shipping and COSCO, nearly 600 shipping businesses have settled down on the street. They almost account for 80% of the total enterprises in this industry in Shanghai. The Hongkou government regards the street as the part of its overall planning. It intends to make it home for ship companies, port management, cargo owners and forwarders. To help ease various procedures and provide related services, the local government has managed to introduce administration authorities and consulting agencies to set up offices here. For example, customs office, frontier inspection, quarantine, insurance, law firm and arbitration.


Xuhui district lies in the south-west of Shanghai. Once the French concession, this district enjoys many high-grade residences of old Shanghai of 1930s. Today, it adds another pride: Xujiahui commercial circle. The 3.3- km2 circle hosts over 1'000 commercial sites with total sales area of 450'000 m2. Major shopping centers or malls include Orient, Pacific, Grand Gateway, No.6 Department and Huijin. On the average, nearly 800'000 people are frequenting the shops here everyday. The sales turnover of this area in 2000 approached CNY 6 billion (over USD 726 million). Mr. Cai Hongsheng, director of the municipal commission of commerce praises Xujiahui commercial circle as the fastest growing and leading area of the city in respect of commerce and retailing. 

As the shopping-mall model has achieved success in the Xujiahui commercial circle , Xuhui district decides to combine it with another form--- brand stores. The project to construct the so-called Xujiahui Super Brand Street was thus initiated early this year. With Xujiahui square in the south and Guangyuan Road in the north, the whole street is 350 meters long. Work on residents relocation already started in February. The whole construction is planned to complete by the end of July this year.

As planned, the street will consist of 46 suites in five types:

type A: 27 suites type B: 8 suites
type C: 10 suites
type E: the biggest

Market research reflects that clothing and shoes are the most desired commodities customers want to buy in this area. They are followed by imported books, stationery, cosmetics etc. Of course, restaurants, café and tea houses are also needed so that people can enjoy the leisure while shopping. Therefore, the responsible local commercial administration announces that the super brand street hopes to have the presence of international brands in these fields. 
contact clues:
Xuhui Administration Office of Commerce
896 Tian Yao Qiao Rd., Shanghai
Tel. +86-21-64 56 75 95
Fax +86-21-54 61 00 65
Mr. Tang, Ms. Lu


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