SHANGHAI, April 7 European companies in China
ranked Shanghai as the most attractive city to locate their
Asia-Pacific headquarters as the Chinese city provides companies
with direct access to the region's biggest market, a survey
showed on Thursday.
Hong Kong and Singapore ranked the second and third most
preferred locations out of 15 cities examined in the survey
which was conducted by the European Union Chamber of Commerce in
China and Roland Berger Strategy Consultants.
Proximity to clients and markets was ranked as the most
important criteria for the location of a regional headquarters
and in which Shanghai had scored the highest mark.
The study explained that the fact that the majority of
respondents were China-based might partially explain Shanghai's
Despite its lead in overall attractiveness, Shanghai lagged
Singapore and Hong Kong in other areas such as the legal and
regulatory environment as well as the political environment.
"Foreign companies still perceive a comparatively high level
of bureaucracy, face a high number of partly unclear and fast
changing regulations, and are concerned about the time-consuming
administrative procedures they experience," according to the
Shanghai needs to reduce the level of bureaucracy, implement
stable and reliable regulations, and adopt international
monetary and transparency standards in order to realise its goal
of becoming an international financial centre able to compete
with New York and London by 2020, the study said.
Of the 67 survey respondents to the study, close to
two-thirds already set up one or more headquarters in the region
and the remaining one-third has yet to establish their
Among the survey respondents, most of their Asia-Pacific
regional headquarters are located in Singapore, followed by
Shanghai, Hong Kong and Beijing. Some have headquarters in
Tokyo, Bangkok, and Guangzhou.
The European Chamber, which has more than 1,600 members in
China, said it would present the findings of the survey to the
authorities in Shanghai.
(Reporting by Soo Ai Peng; Editing by Jacqueline Wong)