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Key takeaways from mayor's press conference

2024年01月29日 10:12

Gong Zheng, mayor of Shanghai, answered questions from journalists during a press conference after the conclusion of the annual plenary sessions of the city's legislative and political advisory bodies on Saturday. Here are some highlights of Gong's remarks at the press conference. 

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Gong Zheng (center) at the press conference. [Photo by Gao Erqiang/China Daily]

 

Economic growth target

We have confidence in realizing the GDP growth target of around 5 percent set for 2024. 

Arduous efforts will be required to achieve the target. In the push for high-quality development, we will seek progress while maintaining stability, promote stability through progress and establish new economic drivers before gradually phasing out or reforming the old ones. 

Building a global economic center

In the bid to build Shanghai into a global economic center, we will accelerate the building of a modern industrial system, keep enlarging the total economic output and create new productivity boosters and new growth engines. 

The city will facilitate the integration of advanced manufacturing and modern service industry, and push for the digital and green, low-carbon transformation of the economy.

Shanghai will develop three strategic pillar industries - integrated circuits, bio-medicine and artificial intelligence and cultivate four new frontiers in digital economy, green economy, metaverse, and smart terminal. 

Technological innovation 

Shanghai will strive to achieve more "0 to 1" breakthroughs in science and technology, and increase investment in basic research. 

Drawing talent 

Regarding Shanghai's pyramid-shaped talent structure, its tower base has become thicker and the spire has become sharper over these years.

Shanghai will ramp up efforts to build world-class platforms for basic scientific research, industrial innovation, and science and technology services, so as to form a strong magnetic field for talent.  

Relevant reform measures, such as preferential services for global talent and full-cycle talent services, will be optimized and improved continuously. 

Urban renewal 

Urban renewal is the eternal theme of urban development. Shanghai aims to renovate 120,000 square meters of scattered old residential houses, and upgrade 310,000 square meters of old non-separate flats and will launch 10 "urban village" renovation projects. The city will also renovate or upgrade a host of old industrial zones, commercial areas and historical conservation areas.

Yangtze River Delta integration

Shanghai will promote the coordination of major development programs in the Yangtze River Delta, enhance the joint efforts to break technological bottlenecks and build world-class industrial clusters in the region.

In the meantime, we well facilitate shared access to public services in the region and promote the institutional innovations successfully piloted in regional integration to other areas. 

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Gong Zheng (center) at the press conference. [Photo by Gao Erqiang/China Daily]

Pudong New Area reform pilot

Shanghai will double its efforts on facilitating cross-border financing; push for substantial fruits in two-way financial opening-up, R&D of new medicines and medical equipment, and cross-border data flow; and develop a group of institutions and systems with global competitiveness.

The city will improve the coordinated innovation mechanisms, such as the open competition mechanism to select the best candidates to undertake key research projects. Shanghai will explore measures such as temporary operating licenses for foreign nationals and a copyright registration system to break the bottlenecks in industrial development. 

Attracting foreign investment 

Shanghai has always been one of the most favored destinations for foreign investors, and one of the most preferred places for multinational companies to deploy their global supply and industrial chains.

The city attracted the regional headquarters of 65 new multinational corporations last year, swelling the total to 956.

The city will make more efforts to further promote investment, such as providing more support in land use, energy consumption, environmental impact assessment and financing.  

Institutional opening-up in Shanghai FTZ

Shanghai is committed to vigorously implementing the strategy to strengthen the China (Shanghai) Pilot Free Trade Zone, positioning itself as a national leader in establishing an institutional system and regulatory model that aligns with high-standard international economic and trade rules. The city is dedicated to accelerating initiatives to develop a national demonstration area for institutional opening-up.

In terms of border measures, the focus will be on making breakthroughs in areas such as tariffs and market access, to promote the efficient cross-border flow of goods, technology, funds and data.

Regarding post-border measures, the emphasis will be on pioneering breakthroughs in areas such as whole-process protection of intellectual property rights, State-owned enterprise reform, government procurement and competition neutrality, so as to cultivate a business environment that is fair, transparent and sustainable.

Affordable rental housing

Affordable rental housing in Shanghai primarily caters to two key demographic groups: young individuals and college graduates, and those actively involved in the city's construction and management, including delivery workers, cleaners and construction personnel.

Throughout the 14th Five-Year Plan period (2021-25), Shanghai aims to increase the supply of affordable rental housing by 470,000 units, in addition to the 137,000 units from earlier periods. The total available rental units are anticipated to exceed 600,000. 

In 2023, Shanghai successfully secured the supply of 81,000 units, combined with 248,000 units from 2022 and 2021, achieving 70 percent of the target for the five-year period within just three years. In the current year, Shanghai plans to secure the supply of an additional 70,000 units.

Business environment

Shanghai is set to implement a comprehensive set of 150 reform measures aimed at enhancing its business environment. These initiatives include the removal of concealed thresholds and barriers hindering the efficient allocation of market resources, lowering costs for enterprises through tax and fee reductions, and streamlining administrative services for a more convenient one-stop experience.

In the previous year, Shanghai achieved significant milestones in supporting businesses. Tax reductions and fee relief totaled 110 billion yuan ($15.49 billion), underscoring the city's commitment to alleviating financial burdens on enterprises. Furthermore, Shanghai distributed 33,000 service packages, providing detailed policy explanations to businesses.

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A reporter asks a question at the press conference. [Photo/eastday.com]

Financial opening-up

Shanghai is poised to steadily expand its institutional opening-up within the financial sector. 

It aims to establish an international financial asset trading platform and propel innovative pilot projects in cross-border and offshore finance.

The city will actively cultivate internationally-oriented financial products, streamline cross-border investment and financing processes, amplify financial backing for the Belt and Road Initiative, and entice additional foreign financial institutions and long-term capital to establish a presence in Shanghai.

Building cultural highland

Culture is the soul of a city. Shanghai will make the most of the resources of its red culture, Haipai culture and Jiangnan culture, and tap the potential of fashion culture to build a city with strong cultural confidence. 

Employment of university graduates 

The employment of university graduates is crucial for the well-being of the people and the future of the city. This year, the number of fresh graduates from universities in the city is expected to reach a new high of 245,000. The city will make every effort to assist them in finding good employment opportunities and ensuring a smooth transition into the workforce.

Building a park city 

In our vision of a "park city", it's not merely about constructing parks within the city; rather, it's a concerted effort to transform the entire city into a vast park, striving for the seamless integration of parks and urban spaces. This year, we have planned to build an additional 120 parks, and by the end of next year, Shanghai is scheduled to become a city with 1,000 parks. 


来源:International Services Shanghai