I've been to Wall Street, The City, Singapore's Raffles Place and Hong Kong Central. But somehow I was still impressed when walking around the Lujiazui financial center in Shanghai's Pudong district.
The many new skyscrapers are testimony to the rapid development of Pudong, but it's the people working inside these buildings who will help fulfill the dream of turning Shanghai into a global financial centre by 2020.
What kind of professionals does Pudong need the most at the moment? Some of the sought-after sectors include credit ratings, financial markets regulation, consumer finance, foreign exchange trading and settlement, OTC equity exchange and investment banking.
Shanghai's vice mayor says in order to make Pudong a pioneer for financial reforms, it should have a solid financial and legal system, as well as credit ratings mechanisms for SMEs to fund raise.
Xu Xin, party secretary of Pudong New Area, has emphasised that to shore up Pudong's preparation for financial innovation, it is necessary to set up an OTC equity exchange for start-up technology firms.
Pudong will also trial programmes to settle cross-border trade using the yuan. Meanwhile, setting up consumer finance firms is at the top of the agenda because it ensures funding for purchases of durable goods. Domestic consumer spending is considered a key measure of China's economic growth.
There is no doubt that further development of the Lujiazui Financial Center in Pudong will encourage capital inflows from various sources. A board to oversee foreign firms listed in Shanghai is being planned, according to China Economic Review. This will create opportunities for people who have experience in IPOs and other fund raising transactions.
"The major European and US markets are reshuffling after the global financial crisis and it has created a good opportunity for Shanghai to lay a sound base to rise as an international financial center," Laura Cha, deputy chairman of HSBC in Shanghai, told the China Economic Review.