Multinational companies continue to set up China and Asia-Pacific regional headquarters in Shanghai, according to the city's Municipal Commission of Commerce.
The commission reported that by the end of 2012, 403 multinationals had established regional headquarters in Shanghai, 95 of which serve as both China and Asia-Pacific headquarters.
"We were aware of this trend as early as 2000, when we entered the China market, but it has clearly increased in the past two years," said Sergio Picarelli, chief sales officer and member of the Executive Committee of Adecco Group.
He added: "A lot of companies are moving from Singapore or Hong Kong or directly setting up their headquarters for Asia Pacific in Shanghai. It will probably further increase in the next five years."
In Picarelli's view, Shanghai is China's foremost commercial hub and a key center for logistics, making it an ideal city for a multinational firm to base its China operations.
A joint venture may give a multinational company an edge in the China market, such as in the case of the Adecco Group, Picarelli said.
"Globally Adecco works with over 100,000 clients every day. Many of them are very interested in the opportunities offered by the Chinese market and want to fully understand the HR situation on the ground here. We can support them with our local know-how and our full range of services," he said.
Adecco has created an expert team and offers a special platform that supports multinational companies exploring the Chinese and Asia-Pacific markets as well as assisting Chinese firms going overseas.
"Outbound Chinese companies will have the same difficulties that multinational companies have when they come to China. They have to discover a new world and a new way of doing business," Picarelli said.
"We support them in their efforts to recruit good people. Once you have good people, you have a good organization," he said.
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