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January 30, 2013

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City to promote innovation, says Han

Shanghai will hasten the process of developing innovative industries, attracting and retaining professionals, eliminating sectors with high energy consumptions to achieve a robust and steady 7 to 8 percent economic growth in the next few years, Shanghai Party Secretary Han Zheng told top advisory body members yesterday.

"Reforming is Shanghai's biggest dividend; openness is its biggest advantage; innovation is the most important impetus and talents are the city's most important resources," he said.

Shanghai will step up the development of innovative sectors like cultural and creative industries to boost the country's competitiveness, he said.

"Shanghai needs efficient, high-quality and green development instead of simple enlargement," he said.

"The city needs to balance growth and efficiency."

Innovation and reforms will help the city to play a leading role in the country while maintaining the spirit of development in the city, he said.

The city plans to invest 3 percent of its GDP into research and development this year.

Innovation needs talents. Shanghai lacks natural resources, but talents are the best and most important resources to the city, he said.

He said Shanghai will woo those with aptitude and professionals, especially enterprising ones, with an open mind.

"The city will pay more attention to innovative talents and create a good enterprising environment for them," he said.

Apart from encouraging innovative industries, Shanghai will continue to cut its reliance on investment, heavy chemical industries, real estate development and labor-intensive processing industries, Han said.

The city will further limit the number of industries with high-energy consumption and pollution, Han said, with plans to eliminate 500 energy consuming and polluting projects this year.

Han promised to improve people's living condition so that they can enjoy the benefits brought by innovation and reform. Moreover, the city will improve the legal environment and government efficiency.

In response to a member's proposal to cancel approvals of microeconomic projects to boost economy, acting mayor Yang Xiong said the suggestion was not feasible.

Shanghai now has around 500 to 600 items that require administrative approval.

That number is expected to reduce to around 400 to 500 this year after the State Council issued a notice to cancel and adjust 314 items necessary for administrative approval last September.

"It is not the city government but the National People's Congress and the State Council that decide if administrative approvals should be retained or be canceled," Yang said.

He said the government should focus on shortening the time for administrative approvals in company registration and investment projects that have a large number of applications.


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