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July 14, 2012

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Lingang project to get 100b yuan in 3 years

SHANGHAI will invest 100 billion yuan (US$15.7 billion) in the next three years on bettering public services and boosting upscale, high-tech and service-industry projects in its coastal Lingang New Town area, officials said yesterday.

The city is looking to Lingang New Town, a large project being built in the Pudong New Area, as a way to boost economic growth, a plenary session of the Shanghai Committee of the Communist Party of China was told.

The investment is to surpass the amount used in the past nine years to develop the Lingang zone, said Shanghai Party Secretary Yu Zhengsheng.

The city will also try to attract companies that locate their R&D offices or sales operations in Shanghai, Yu said. The city will offer incentives to attract such companies because they play a crucial role in advancing Shanghai's economic restructuring, he added.

Shanghai is endeavoring to reshape its economic structure by focusing more on high-end technology, service and financial sectors and phasing out industries of high pollution and energy consumption, such as the steelmaking businesses.

The government also wants to lure more foreign and domestic companies to locate their headquarters in Shanghai.

Yu urged suburban districts such as Jinshan, Jiading and Qingpu, close to Shanghai's neighboring provinces, to attract more domestic enterprises to relocate their R&D and sales offices there by effecting government incentives and improving business environment.

Yu said the city government is planning a package of policies such as tax incentives and easier business approvals to attract merchants and high-end business projects to the Lingang zone.

Mayor Han Zheng also said a package of 10 new policies to allow foreign-currency capital to be used and flow on the local market much more fluidly is likely to be launched before the end of the year. The draft policies are being reviewed by the central government.

He also said local Customs clearance hours will be extended to boost trade.

Shanghai's economic growth in the first half of the year has slowed but its targeted economic restructuring has proceeded soundly, city government officials said.

They said local GDP growth falls toward the lower end of the anticipated range for the half-year growth rate. Details will be released later by the statistics authority.

Growth rates for local exports and tax income have also dipped in the sluggish economic climate, city officials said.

Yu said the city will use incentives to trim the size of future industrial parks by adding stories to old buildings or adopting efficient designs. The city won't support building of low-rise townhouse complexes or large public green spaces, given its limited land, Yu stressed.


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