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City officials confident 7.5% growth target can be achieved

Shanghai has reasons to be confident of achieving its 7.5 percent economic growth target this year, officials and economists said on the sidelines of the annual session of the Shanghai People's Congress.

Huang Renwei, a legislator and vice president of the Shanghai Academy of Social Sciences, said conditions have grown more favorable on at least three fronts.

"First, investment will increase this year after a structural decline following the peak of 2010 when Shanghai hosted the World Expo," Huang said. "The investment is expected to be powered by big projects like the Disneyland theme park and the Hongqiao Business Park. The development of the shipping, aerospace and environment protection industries will also help."

Huang, however, did sound a note of caution.

"We should not be too optimistic, but at least the conditions will be better than last year," Huang said.

A government report yesterday said "openness is Shanghai's biggest strength" and added foreign investment will play a bigger role in the city's growth.

Shanghai can also expect stronger consumption among residents due to rising incomes, Huang said.

Shanghai has set an economic growth target of 7.5 percent for 2013, the same as the city's growth last year.

Li Xunlei, chief economist of Haitong Securities Co, said the city needs to focus more on core industries to strengthen its overall competitiveness.


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