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October 28, 2018

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Expo 2010 still a jewel in Shanghai’s crown

HEADQUARTERS of many state-owned enterprises have risen over the site of the World Expo Shanghai 2010.

The former Zone B of the Expo 2010, once home to the exhibition halls of Oceania, now houses 27 SOE headquarters.

Along the Huangpu River, an area of nearly 10 square kilometers is developing into a world-class central activities zone.

Behind the 9.5 kilometers of riverbank are the nerve centers of leading SOEs, such as Baowu Steel Group, the Commercial Aircraft Corporation of China and Huadian Corporation.

There are around 50 firms registered here, according to Wu Hai, director of the Expo Area Administration Bureau.

The Expo area will soon be home to the New Development Bank, formerly the BRICS Development Bank and the operations center of the Asia-Pacific Model E-Port Network.

“The Expo area is a new growth pole in Shanghai. Annual investment has topped 10 billion yuan (US$1.4 billion) for five years in a row. Growth has been high,” said Wu.

In the first half of the year, six projects raised 24 billion yuan.

The agglomeration of SOE headquarters provides many advantages for the Expo area. The key is to integrate the SOEs and the local economy, Wu said.

From the perspective of the regional economic structure, driven by the SOEs, a service-oriented economy is well established in the expo area.

More than 90 percent of local enterprises located in the Expo area are service companies, up 31 percent from the end of 2016. Among the businesses, industrial and shipping finance and cultural industries are prominent.

Money talks

More than 900 financial services companies have gathered in the area, 10 percent of local enterprises.

SOEs give financial support to the real economy.

Leading SOEs, such as Baowu and the National Nuclear Corporation, have plans to establish asset management wings which could leverage hundreds of billions of yuan in social capital into the real economy.

Not long ago, the first free trade agreement preferential tariff application system (Smart FTAX) started operations, providing one-stop inquiry and application services for preferential tariff treatment. The system was developed by the Model E-Port Network.

The area has a platform promoting integration of SOEs and the local economy, the first of its kind in a national free trade zone. It helps SOEs in advanced manufacturing and modern services. Clusters of strategic emerging industries are cultivating new driving forces of economic development.

Recent matchmaking featured construction of a civil aircraft flight test center, energy development and the use of big data in health care, raising 35 billion yuan. The projects will be based in the Expo area but serve the whole city.

In August, the first e-sports service platform in Pudong was established on the Expo site where a number of e-sports arenas have gathered. It will work with investors and players on fundraising, exhibitions and business services to cultivate a complete industrial chain. The platform will be a one-stop service system for cybergame talent and financing, attracting enterprises and clubs to the area; a complete ecosystem.

The Expo Area Administration Bureau has improved approval of construction projects. Environmental assessment is no longer a precondition for a construction project. A record-filing system for environmental assessment has replaced prior registration, administrative examination and approval.

Local enterprises investing in construction projects are also offered a one-stop solution.

Livable location

A number of landmarks including the Mercedes-Benz Arena, China Art Museum and Shanghai 21st Century Minsheng Art Museum (M21) help create a livable community.

The Mercedes-Benz Arena, formerly known as the World Expo Cultural Center, is now one of the most recognizable sport and entertainment destinations in Shanghai. An indoor arena of 18,000 seats, it has hosted a variety of shows, concerts, world-class art and sporting events.

Not far away, the former China Pavilion is now the China Art Museum, a center of exhibitions, academic research, education and international art exchange.

The Shanghai 21st Century Minsheng Art Museum occupies the former France Pavilion. Opened in 2014, the contemporary art museum hosts numerous exhibitions from China and overseas.

Covering 47,000 square meters, Green Valley is being developed into a high-end work community with business, shops, restaurants and entertainment.

A planned Expo Culture Park will include an equestrian park and a tram line. Covering 1.9 square kilometers, the park will highlight ecology, culture and innovation.

Shanghai Grand Opera House in the park will take up 80,000 square meters, while the garden will occupy another 30,000 square meters. Outdoor theaters will be built around the opera house to create a new cultural site along the Huangpu River.

The riverside park will be free to the public. It will stretch from Lupu Bridge to Longbing Road in Pudong, opposite the West Bund in downtown Xuhui District.

The former structures of the Italy, France, Russia and Luxemburg pavilions will remain in the park, redesigned and renovated to preserve the cultural legacy of the World Expo.


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