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City focuses on innovation and economic restructuring

Shanghai will continue to focus on innovation in all aspects of social and economic development next year, speed up the pace of economic restructuring and endeavor to improve its urban management mechanisms to ensure public safety, top government officials said today at a Party meeting.
Next year, the city government will increase investment and set up a 10-billion-yuan (US$1.5 billion) fund to support technology and innovation programs.
The fund will provide subsidies to firms or institutions engaged in research, financial and other urban development projects that are expected to significantly contribute to economic restructuring and technology innovation, city mayor Han Zheng told a two-day plenary meeting of the Shanghai Committee of the Communist Party of China, which ended today.
The mayor also said stabilizing the prices of daily necessities and reforming health care polices to reduce medical expenses are high priorities for the government next year.
"Now it is time for Shanghai to carry out its economic restructuring and reforms based around innovation," Han said, when outlining the city's major development goals for next year. The city's new five-year plan starts in 2011.
The government plans to improve incentives for housing, social security, medical care and education to encourage more overseas and non-local professionals to work in Shanghai.
Han also said the government wants to create better visa policies for overseas professionals.
Construction of IT and communications infrastructure and the convergence of three networks (TV, phone and Internet) will also enhance the creation of an "intelligent city" in Shanghai, he said.
A fiber-optic network for broadband will be installed in all new residential and office buildings constructed next year while the government will also boost the digital publications industry.


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