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Pact bolsters trade and service

The Ministry of Commerce signed a framework agreement with the Shanghai government yesterday to support the development of the city's service and trade sectors.

Under the pact, the ministry and the city will cooperate more closely in policy-making, building Shanghai into an international trade center, conducting a study on developing a market system, using foreign investment, building of special economic zones and training personnel that are needed for the two sectors.

The senior officials of the ministry and the city government should meet regularly to promote better communications, according to the pact.

Shanghai Party Secretary Yu Zhengsheng attended the ceremony during which Minister of Commerce Chen Deming and Shanghai Mayor Han Zheng signed the agreement.

"The agreement illustrates the importance of Shanghai on the map of China's economic development," said Mei Xinyu, a senior researcher at the ministry. "The central government has allotted different roles for cities and Shanghai has a strategic position in the service and trade sectors."

The ministry has similar pacts with Tianjin and Sichuan Province.

The agreement with Tianjin focuses on developing its Binhai New Area into a locomotive to boost the Bohai Bay economy. The pact with Sichuan aims to accelerate the reconstruction of the province after it was hit by an earthquake in May 2008.


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