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November 10, 2010

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Five-Year Plan focus on city's innovation

SHANGHAI'S next five-year plan should focus on innovation and economic restructuring if the city is to achieve its goal of furthering sustainable and green economic and social development, the city's Party Secretary Yu Zhengsheng told a meeting yesterday.

These initiatives will help Shanghai meet the challenges caused by economic uncertainties both at home and abroad, Yu added.

At the two-day plenary session of the Party's Shanghai committee, which concluded yesterday, he also emphasized the necessity of speeding up the process of turning Shanghai into an "intelligence city" that features advanced IT communications infrastructure, digital spaces and online problem-solving tools.

The meeting approved the proposals for drafting the city's 12th Five-Year Plan, which kicks off next year. The city government will work out a detailed five-year plan which will be submitted to the local legislature.

According to the proposals, Internet speeds in Shanghai are set to increase 50-fold over the next five years, while the cost of going online will fall.

Yu also stressed the need for innovation in all sectors and a more service-industry based local economy.

He outlined his vision for more advanced and public-friendly information technologies and services in the next five years.

Shanghai's broadband Internet speed will increase to 100 megabits per second by 2015 - up from around 2Mbps now, according to the development plans.

Internet charge rates will be substantially lowered as the current situation of "low broadband speed with high charge rate" would greatly hamper the city's future developments, the proposals said.

"Compared with building more railroads and highways, improving the broadband service is much more important in terms of backing up the city's development as a basic infrastructure," Yu stressed in his speech.

He also urged local government departments and state-owned corporate management to probe deeper into different industries and find the "brains," especially those of "high creativity," to support them in realizing innovation targets.

"Innovation is the basis and origin of power to realize the city's next five-year development plans," Yu said.

In the next five years, Shanghai will have a more service-industry backed economy and aims at securing a year-on-year gross domestic product growth rate of 8 percent for the five years starting 2011, according to the plans.

Last year, 59.4 percent of the city's GDP came from the service-industry sector, up by 3.4 percent from a year earlier, thanks to years of reform, said the city statistics bureau.


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