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May 9, 2017

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Socialist, modern vision for our city

SHANGHAI will push ahead over the next five years to improve living standards and build the city into a “socialist, modern, international metropolis,” city Party Secretary Han Zheng said in his report at the opening ceremony of the 11th Congress of the Party’s Shanghai Committee yesterday.

He said all-out efforts would be taken to improve the city’s attractiveness, creativity and competitiveness.

“As a vanguard of reform and opening-up and forerunner in innovation-driven development, our goals in the next five years are to comprehensively deepen reforms and to further promote innovation-driven development and economic transformation and upgrading,” Han said.

Construction of the “Four Centers” — economic, financial, trading and shipping — should also have finished, Han said, making the city a “socialist, modern, international metropolis with its global influence improved steadily.”

To maintain the steady and healthy development of its economy, the city is aiming for a structure that has a modern service industry as its major component, but guided by strategic emerging industries and supported by advanced manufacturing.

The contribution of new strategic industries to the economy will be raised to 20 percent from last year’s 15 percent, and investment in research and development will increase to 4 percent from 2016’s 3.8 percent, Han said in his report.

The promotion of an innovation-driven economy will reduce the city’s reliance on investment, real estate, heavy chemicals and labor-intensive processing, he said.

In order to become a global innovation center for science and technology, spending on research and development should go beyond 4 percent of the city’s GDP, compared with the current 3.8 percent.

Construction of key national-level scientific projects in Zhangjiang will be accelerated and new policies are also expected to attract talent with an understanding of international trends in science and technology.

Shanghai will step up opening-up of the market to offer fairer opportunities for both private and foreign companies, Han said.

The negative list for foreign investment in the free trade zone will be further shortened and management will comply better with international practices in the finance, foreign exchange, investment, and entry and exit areas, he said.

Earlier this month, Shanghai released a guideline with 33 measures to attract foreign investment by expanding opening up and building a more competitive market.

Efforts will be made to widen market entry, expand support policies, create an equal business environment, and lift standards of government services for foreign investment companies.

On living standards, Han stressed improving the environment besides promoting employment and incomes rising in pace with economic growth.

“We will enforce the strictest environmental and energy efficiency standards,” he said. Controlling the density of PM2.5 particles and ozone in the air and improving water quality were core in terms of environmental protection and ecological restoration, he added.

“We will cooperate with other cities in the Yangtze River Delta to prevent air pollution so that citizens can see bluer skies and breathe cleaner air,” Han said.

The city will also encourage and direct social investment into green industries and build more green space, Han said. No effort would be spared to make Chongming a world-class ecological island.

Han also said the city will improve real estate market regulations to make sure houses are for living, not speculation.

The congress will review the report and one from the Party discipline inspection committee over the next few days.

It will elect the 11th CPC Shanghai Committee and a new discipline inspection committee and select representatives to attend the Party’s 19th National Congress in Beijing later this year.


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