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Pudong to get major role in opening-up

By Wang Ying in Shanghai | China Daily | Updated: 2019-06-26 09:05
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A panoramic view of the financial hub in Pudong New Area of Shanghai. [Photo by Wang Gang/For China Daily]

The municipal government of Shanghai said it will make Pudong New Area contribute more to the high quality development of the nation and achieve the goal of 2 trillion yuan ($290.7 billion) GDP (gross domestic product) in seven years, official sources said on Tuesday.

Shanghai has announced a batch of new measures to deepen reform, further opening-up, technological innovation, industrial upgrading and modern urbanization of the Pudong New Area, and strives to double the area's GDP to 2 trillion yuan by the area's 35th anniversary of opening up, said Ma Chunlei, deputy secretary-general of the Shanghai Municipal Government and director of the city's Development and Reform Commission.

According to the guidelines issued on June 15 on supporting Pudong New Area's further reform and opening up, the municipal government of Shanghai will provide a better development environment for the new area in policy innovation, economic development, governance and eco-environment.

Pudong, or east of the Huangpu River, was mostly farmland only 40 years ago, when reform and opening up kicked off. But since the State Council announced the plan to develop Pudong in April 1990, the area has in the past 29 years changed into a powerhouse of the city, Shanghai's growth engine and a calling card of China's modernization and development, said Ma.

"Its 1 trillion yuan GDP, its achievements including establishing the nation's first free-trade zone, have laid solid foundations for the new area to make a greater contribution to China and Shanghai's high-quality development in the coming years," said Ma.

More policies are in the pipeline to enhance the city's innovative reform, leadership in opening-up, explorative innovation, competitiveness, governance capability to ensure Pudong expands its GDP to 2 trillion yuan in 2025.

"Such a goal is difficult but achievable as long as the new area can realize between 7 and 8 percent growth annually," said Ma.

Taking up one-fifth of Shanghai's land and a quarter of its population, Pudong created one-third of the business hub's GDP, 40 percent of the strategic industrial output of Shanghai, and 60 percent of its foreign trade value, said Hang Yingwei, head of the Pudong New Area.

Shanghai's GDP grew 6.6 percent year-on-year to 3.27 trillion yuan in 2018, while Pudong contributed more than 1 trillion yuan, which snowballed more than 165 times from 6 billion yuan in 1990.

In the meantime, the disposable per capita income of urban and rural residents in Pudong has exceeded 60,000 yuan, said Hang.

The area will continue to create high quality life for its residents by adding more cultural and sports facilities and optimizing its eco-environment, added Hang.

"Led by the further development of the China (Shanghai) Pilot Free Trade Zone, comprehensive high standard reform and opening-up will be launched for the development of Yangtze River Delta region, the Belt and Road Initiative and China as a whole," said Hang.

As part of the city's target of building Shanghai into a technological innovation hub with high quality development, six key industrial clusters including semiconductors, medicines, manufacturing, aviation, new energy vehicles and connected cars, as well as software and information services will be developed.

"Compared with previous measures, the new round of development will be characteristic with more permission granted to the Pudong new area government in economic regulations, administrative approval, planning and governance," said Ma.

In the new measures announced by the municipal government, Pudong can give people graduating from domestic universities or overseas universities Shanghai hukou (household registration) as a way to attract talents.

"Shanghai is the first municipal government to allow its district government to have approval power in hukou, and this new measure will give Pudong an advantage in attracting talents as well as its better reform and opening-up, because talents are the most important resource," said Yu Chengbin, vice-director of Shanghai Municipal Human Resources and Social Security Bureau.

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