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95 15 Press Conference Announcing the Establishment of the Shanghai Foreign Investment Commission June 10, 1988 Yoshida Shigenobu, Japanese Consul General: My question is a rather simple one. A little over a year ago, an agency was set up—the Shanghai Foreign Investment Office. Now that the Foreign Investment Commission has been established, will this office be dissolved or will it coexist [with the commission]? ZRJ: Mr. Yoshida, you’ve raised a very good question. With the establishment of the Foreign Investment Commission, the other agencies that formerly dealt with foreign investment have been dissolved. There used to be a Foreign Investment Office under the Municipal Foreign Economic Relations and Trade Commission. The staff at that office has already been transferred to this [new] commission. So you could say that the office no longer exists, or you could say that there has been a merger with the Foreign Economic Relations and Trade Commission. The Foreign Investment Commission was formed in order to better and more quickly review and approve foreign investment projects and to speed up the pace at which we attract foreign capital. Work that could be done by the original agencies will continue to be done by them. For example, the Foreign Economic Relations and Trade Commission under Mr. Shen Beizhang’s1 leadership will continue doing what it is able to do, and Mr. Ye Longfei2 is not trying to take away their business. That’s why you foreign entrepreneurs should continue to go through the channels you used before. However, if there are matters that those agencies cannot handle, or that they handle very slowly, then you should turn to Mr. Ye. I think this is a better way to put it. Correspondent from the “Voice of Pudong” Radio Station (Shanghai): We greatly appreciate the efforts this administration is making to improve the 1. Shen Beizhang was then chairperson of the Shanghai Foreign Economic Relations and Trade Commission. 2. See chapter 7, note 11. Zhu_Shanghai Years_1987-1991_hc_9780815731399_i-xii_1-620.indd 95 12/26/17 12:00 PM 96 Announcing the Establishment of the Shanghai Foreign Investment Commission investment environment. I have several questions. First, in the past, how many chops were needed for a foreign investment project’s approval and generally how long did this take? Second, after the formation of the Shanghai Foreign Investment Commission, about how many chops will be required for a project approval, and how long do you estimate it will take? Third, [Vice Mayor] Huang Ju just now described six preferential policies. Will these be applicable to Taiwanese businessmen who invest in Shanghai? Or will there be even more preferential policies for them? ZRJ: To tell you the truth, I’ve never kept count of how many chops or how much time it took to approve a foreign investment project in Shanghai. I did read in a research report that one project needed 126 chops, but a later report counted over 126, so I’m not sure how many were actually required. The issue now is that everyone wants “one chop.” I don’t hold a patent for inventing “one chop.” When he was vice chairperson of the State Commission for ImportExport Affairs, Jiang Zemin already proposed bringing together the required chops and stamping them all at once. Based on his proposal then, I suggested that instead of stamping all the chops at once, we integrate them into one chop to be stamped once. You might say that my “patent” was developed on the foundation of Jiang Zemin’s “patent.” As for how long it will now take to stamp the “one chop,” that’s hard to say. I asked Mr. Ye Longfei just now how long it would take, and he said that could be determined only after looking at each individual project. But I ask you to believe that we will definitely work as quickly as possible. If you can tell me about a country that approves projects more quickly than we do, we will try to catch up with it. As for your other question about whether or not these preferential policies are applicable to investors from the territory of Taiwan, they are entirely applicable. Barbara Slovakia (the U.S commercial consul): Consul General Charles Sylvester specially asked me to tell you and Vice Mayor Huang that this is the most important thing since he came to Shanghai. Or perhaps the election of Mayor Zhu was more important. He’s very sorry that he couldn’t be here today...


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