CHINA> Regional
Shanghai 'determined' to spend more on infrastructure
By Wang Zhenghua (China Daily)
Updated: 2008-11-07 07:23

Shanghai is determined to increase investment in infrastructure to offset the global financial crisis currently eroding its economy, its Party chief said on Thursday.

In an online chat at, Yu Zhengsheng said the government is studying a number of solutions.

"There will be larger increases in investment next year on infrastructure construction," he said.

Yu said the increase would focus on projects that improve people's lives in suburban areas in the fields of education and medical institutions for relocated residents.

The government will also help industrial programs that meet Shanghai's development needs, maintain steady housing construction and assist enterprises to escape the impacts of the global financial crisis.

Shanghai's economy, which has maintained a much higher growth rate than the nation's average for the past 16 years, has slowed this year. GDP growth in the first half, about 10.3 percent, was slightly below China's average level.

The government said its GDP grew 10.1 percent in the first nine months, without revealing the rate for the third quarter.

But Yu stressed that Shanghai's economy was still growing.

"Shanghai's economy confronts a challenge. Is it preparing for the winter? I would say it's raining and we need an umbrella," he said.

"The key is if the umbrella is put up in a timely way and whether it is useful."

He said the government's biggest concern is employment pressure and that the best way to ease it is stable steady growth.

Labor-intensive IT industries and a cluster of multinationals' headquarters will help address the pressure, he said.

Shanghai is currently host to some 450 global, regional and investment headquarters of multinationals.

Concerning the hotly discussed housing issue, Yu revealed that Shanghai authorities in December would make public a series of policies on affordable housing for the medium and low-income population.

"It is our responsibility to provide affordable and low-rent housing in Shanghai," he said.