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March 1, 2010

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Shanghai retains competitive edge

SHANGHAI has topped a list of China's most competitive regions in a high-level national report for the fourth time.

The accolade prompted researchers to suggest that the city should take advantage of the Shanghai 2010 World Expo and its plan to turn into a global financial hub to optimize its industry structure.

The report, released annually by the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, covered the 31 provincial regions on the mainland and assessed nine factors in each, including the size of its economy, education, science and technology, resources, environment and economic efficiency.

Shanghai ranked in the top three in most areas, such as financial strength, education, science and technology, investment environment and government efficiency, the CASS said yesterday in its competitiveness analysis.

"Shanghai should tap into the opportunity of the World Expo and build itself into a global shipping center and financial hub to further speed up the transformation of its economic structure," said experts from the CASS.

"To retain sound and relatively fast economic development remains Shanghai's top priority as there are still many uncertainties in the global economy," they said.

The national research house for the first time made a comparison between China's top 10 competitive regions with G20 countries in terms of gross domestic product per capita, trade, size of the economy and household consumption.

Shanghai was 12th for GDP per capita among the 10 Chinese regions and 18 G20 countries and 18th for exports.

"The GDP per capita in Shanghai has obviously surpassed some of the advanced countries but still has a long way to catch up with powerhouses such as the United States," Li Minrong, the report compiler, said yesterday.

In comparison with its domestic peers, Shanghai lagged in the ability to keep a sustainable development, the report said.

Experts advised the city to take energy-saving and environment-friendly paths in construction and consumption.

They also said Shanghai should accelerate social welfare improvement, particularly in employment, housing and health care.

Beijing remained in second spot on the list while Jiangsu Province replaced Guangdong Province to take third position.


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