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June 30, 2012

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Tobacco project taken off strategic list

A TOBACCO innovation park project has been removed from Shanghai's strategic emerging industry list after legislators said public money should not be spent to support industries that pose a health threat.

The Shanghai Commission of Economy and Informatization said on Thursday that it deleted the Shanghai Tobacco (Group) Co's science and technology innovation park project from the list in response to written comments from two city lawmakers.

"Strategic emerging industries include new-generation information technology, high-end equipment manufacturing, biology, new energy, new materials and environmentally friendly technology, according to the municipal government's work report. Which category does tobacco belong to?" wrote lawmakers Jia Qiaoping and Zhong Lei.

They said if the aim of innovation is bigger turnover, the tobacco industry will earn bigger profits while threatening public health.

According to the plan, the company plans to build a 431,205-square-meter innovation zone in the Pudong New Area. It will comprise a research and development center along with a factory. Production capacity has been set at 75 billion cigarettes a year. The project's budget is 5.89 billion yuan (US$93 million).

Shanghai Tobacco plans to go ahead with the project.


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