Shanghai, home to regional headquarters of 580 multinational corporations, has seen more local companies expand overseas since its pilot free trade zone (FTZ) was launched in 2013.
Shanghai enterprises have expanded to 178 countries and regions, with 70 percent of investment overseas coming from the Shanghai FTZ, according to Shang Yuying, head of the Shanghai Municipal Commission of Commerce, at a press conference Wednesday.
The Belt and Road Initiative and Shanghai FTZ have encouraged local entrepreneurs to do business overseas and are becoming more competitive, said Shang.
Enterprises from Shanghai signed contracts with partners in the Belt and Road region worth 8.9 billion U.S. dollars last year, up 66.5 percent over the previous year.
Some have built partnerships with economic and trade departments and leading cities in 14 Belt and Road countries including Singapore, the Czech Republic and Turkey.