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August 20, 2013

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‘China’s Boston’ taking shape with North Bund development

SHANGHAI’S North Bund is set to become “China’s Boston,” the top official of Hongkou District said yesterday.  

Through attracting major financial institution headquarters and creating a shipping service center for cruise liners, it will rival the east coast United States city, said Wu Qing, district party chief.

The North Bund saw 105 offices for financial institution open between January and June — up 20 percent on 2012’s figure.

 Some 185 financial institutions set up offices in the area last year — four times the number for 2010 and second only to the city’s Pudong New Area in Shanghai, said Wu.

“The North Bund will emerge as the third pillar of the city’s development into a financial hub, alongside the old Bund and the Lujiazui area,” said Wu.

The North Bund will focus on the development of the assets management industry by attracting banks, investment banks and insurance companies, mainly to support Lujiazui financial zone, Wu added.

Meanwhile, a national-level shipping service base and cruise liner development zone has been established in the area to attract large cruise liners to dock there.

The area also will provide supporting commercial facilities totalling some 300,000 square meters, including restaurants, cafes and shops, officials said.

Waterfront attractions have not been forgotten either. A 2.6-kilometer stretch of promenade along the Huangpu River has opened for sightseeing.

And the skyline and illumination of buildings in the area will be designed for a harmonious effect, officials said.

Hongkou also plans to create Shanghai Music Valley, providing a space for live performances and attracting musicians, record labels and artists, district officials said yesterday.

It will be built in a North Bund historic preservation zone, featuring the city’s biggest area of traditional shikumen housing.

Factories and firms inside the buildings will be relocated to make way for music and art companies.

A 3D light show with music is also planned.

The district government plans to put 300 million yuan (US$48.3m) into an investment fund for incentives to businesses and to improve services.



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