Shanghai Free Trade Zone 8 Years on / Updates

Waigaoqiao rises as global biomedical hub |  Updated:2021-12-06

The Waigaoqiao Bonded Area in the China (Shanghai) Pilot Free Trade Zone has greatly expanded its biomedicine industry, with an industrial chain involving research and development, manufacturing, testing, sales, consultation, circulation, exhibition and training being developed since the FTZ was established in 2013.

The number of biomedicine and medical instrument companies has increased from less than 200 to the current 886 during this time, while the industrial scale is valued at 221.8 billion yuan ($34.8 billion), accounting for one-third of Shanghai's total.

"Before 2013, our main advantage was a strong supply chain. After the establishment of the Shanghai FTZ, multiple preferential policies were introduced, significantly boosting the biomedicine and medical instrument industrial chains," said Zhang Hao, deputy director of the area's administration Shanghai Waigaoqiao Free Trade Zone Group.

Due to a series of policies that the bonded area has implemented to facilitate trade, new products are able to reach domestic and overseas markets at a faster pace. This has become a major selling point for Waigaoqiao, attracting many biomedicine companies.

Leading industry player Siemens Healthineers has set up three solely funded companies in the bonded area. 

The newest one, which focuses on digital medical technology, has applied for more than 20 patents since it started operating in early 2020. The company's revenue is expected to surpass 1 billion yuan this year, according to Wang Qiang, the company's CFO.

Wang said that they chose Waigaoqiao not only for its preferential policies, but its strong business environment and highly efficient services.

In guidelines released on July 15 to build Pudong New Area into a pioneer of the country's socialist modernization, central authorities said that efforts should be made to accelerate the R&D and production of core technology involving the biomedicine industry in order to strengthen the area's capacity for global resource allocation and build a world-class innovative industrial cluster.

The Yangtze River Delta branches of national centers for drug evaluation and medical device evaluation have received approval to open in Pudong. The move will significantly cut evaluation and registration times for companies, said Wen Daxiang, director of the Shanghai drug administration.

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