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October 20, 2017

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Shanghai highlights its plans for free trade port and science center

SHANGHAI is planning a free trade port and striving to become a scientific innovation center with global influence, the city’s Party Secretary Han Zheng said yesterday.

The free trade port, based on the city’s pilot free trade zone, has entered the planning stage and will be implemented after approval from central government, Han told a press conference on the sidelines of the Party’s 19th National Congress in Beijing.

The government approved a plan to comprehensively expand the opening-up of the China (Shanghai) Pilot Free Trade Zone in May. Han said that marked the “3.0 version” of the FTZ following its establishment in 2013 and the first growth in its opening-up in 2015.

“Through years of reform, there have been over 100 innovative institutions promoted nationwide,” Han said.

The Ministry of Commerce has announced the launch of another seven free trade zones, taking the nation’s total to 11.

As China’s first FTZ, the Shanghai zone has gained experience that will inform the development of the other zones.

Another major task for Shanghai is to accelerate the development of a scientific innovation center with “global influence,” Shanghai Mayor Ying Yong told reporters.

“The city government has decided to form a central basic framework of the scientific innovation center by 2020 and form its core function by 2030,” Ying said.

As a core part of the plan, the city will establish a Zhangjiang Comprehensive National Scientific Center in the Pudong New Area, which will involve a batch of world cutting-edge major scientific facilities as well as world-leading research institutes and innovation groups, Ying said.

To achieve that goal, Shanghai has planned a Zhangjiang Science City covering 94 square kilometers, which aims to be on a par with California’s Silicon Valley, Singapore’s One North science park and Japan’s Tsukuba scientific town, according to the Shanghai Planning, Land and Resources Administration.

Ying said the city government has issued a set of guidelines to support foreign research and development centers based in Shanghai to play their part in the city’s scientific innovation center ambitions.

More policies will be issued to create a “highland for professionals” as well as serve the scientific innovation center, Ying added.

“Shanghai is in more urgent need than in any other period of talent,” he said.

At present, more than 610 global or regional headquarters of multinational companies have been set up in Shanghai along with over 418 research and development centers, according to the government.

Reporters were also told by Han that the city banned close family members of senior government officials from running businesses in a pilot regulation launched in May 2015 ahead of a nationwide rollout. Regular investigations will be launched to check at least 20 percent of local officials, Han said.

He also promised to further improve air quality in the city by reducing the density of hazardous PM2.5 fine particles to 40 micrograms per cubic meter this year from 45mg last year.

Han said the security of city residents was of top concern.

“We have put how to eliminate safety risks as our daily focus to ensure the life and property safety of the people,” he said.


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