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Convention to showcase Shanghai's potential

By YUAN SHENGGAO ( China Daily Global ) 2021-11-05

Sideline event of the fourth China International Import Expo to attract key investors

The 2021 Shanghai City Promotion Convention, a sideline activity of the ongoing fourth China International Import Expo, will be held at the Shanghai Tower on Saturday to demonstrate the charm of the city to global visitors.

Themed around "Embracing the CIIE, Sharing the Future", the 2021 edition will focus on displaying Shanghai's achievements and cultural elements.

Shanghai Mayor Gong Zheng will deliver a keynote speech at the convention to introduce city's efforts in promoting high-level opening-up and reform of Pudong New Area; and boosting the construction of the Lingang Special Area of the China (Shanghai) Pilot Free Trade Zone and the Shanghai Hongqiao International Central Business District.

Representatives from international organizations, foreign companies and investment promotion agencies, including the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development, will share their latest findings on the world economy and expectations for the future development of Shanghai, according to Zhu Yi, deputy director of the Shanghai Commission of Commerce.

The Shanghai government has chosen the enhancement of "soft power" as a key task for its 14th Five-Year Plan (2021-25).

Li Qiang, Party secretary of Shanghai, said in the plenary meeting of the Shanghai Municipal Committee of the Communist Party of China in June that urban soft power is mainly about the intangible strengthening, guided and formed by values, culture and systems.

He said that many aspects of the hard power of Shanghai meet top-level requirements among major destinations worldwide, including the development of its economy, finance, trade, transportation and scientific innovation. However, there is still room for Shanghai to improve its soft power.

At the meeting, it was decided that Shanghai would develop more unique cultural products and protect its historical culture, while also striving to create a comfortable environment for living, working, studying and travel.

Thriving economy

In the first nine months of 2021, Shanghai reported an outstanding economic performance despite the pandemic. It was top among Chinese cities with a record GDP of this year of 3.09 trillion yuan ($482.88 billion) in the first three quarters, representing an increase of 9.8 percent year-on-year.

Shanghai reported "better than expected" results in promoting commercial development in the first three quarters, according to Zhu.

Overall retail sales in the city hit 1.33 trillion yuan from January to September, a year-on-year increase of 19.6 percent. The growth rate was higher than the national average of 16.4 percent.

An array of iconic events including the second edition of the 5-5 Shopping Festival, the 6-6 Night Life Festival and the Global New Products Debuting Season were held to unlock consumption potential in the city and generated excellent results, Zhu said.

It was reported by local media that the combined offline sales revenue during the one-month 5-5 Shopping Festival was 499.1 billion yuan, an increase of 12 percent from the previous year. The online sales revenue was 290.5 billion yuan, up by 14 percent from 2020.

From January to September, combined commodity sales in Shanghai reached 11.8 trillion yuan, up by 20.7 percent and 13.7 percent in 2020 and 2019 respectively.

The e-commerce sector continued its recovery with the total transaction value reaching 2.4 trillion yuan in the first three quarters-almost a return to what it was before the pandemic. The city's off-shore trade volume under free trade accounts increased 54.9 percent year-on-year to 1.33 billion yuan.

Shanghai also performed well in terms of foreign trade over the last nine months. Ports in Shanghai handled imports and exports valued at 7.28 trillion yuan, an increase of 14.5 percent year-on-year. Cargo import and export value increased 17.8 percent year-on-year, reaching 2.9 trillion yuan.

Paid-in foreign investment rose 15 percent year-on-year in the first three quarters to $17.85 billion. The number of newly established foreign companies was 5,136, representing a 27.1 percent year-on-year increase. The total value of contracted foreign investment was $44.51 billion.

Shanghai also saw an influx of business service providers and high-tech service providers, which contributed to the optimization of the city's industrial structure. A total of 43 government recognized large-scale projects, each above $100 million in total investment, settled in the city.

The headquarters economy continued to expand with 47 regional headquarters and 20 research and development centers being agreed upon to move to Shanghai. By the end of September, Shanghai was home to the headquarters of 818 multinational companies. It is also home to 501 R&D centers from around the world.

Shanghai has received the thumbs-up from global investors including Lego and Danaher for its efforts in accelerating new projects, promoting industrial development and upgrading its business environment.

A representative from Accenture said that China is a strategic market for the consulting firm. Having settled in Shanghai since 1993, Accenture has grown into one of the largest consulting firms in China and provides a wide range of digital services in the Chinese market.

The representative said that the Shanghai government's promotion of digital transformation will help drive the development of Accenture in China. Accenture's investment in fields such as cloud computing, low-carbon sustainability and artificial intelligence is helped by Shanghai's continuously optimized business environment.

14th Five-Year Plan

Shanghai, a city on the frontier of China's reform and opening-up, plans an even bigger role in the country's development during the 14th Five-Year Plan.

The city will continue to strengthen its capacity in international economy, finance, trade, shipping, technological innovation and consumption so that it can become a strong driving force for China's high-quality economic growth.

Pudong, once a less-developed area, has become a business hub that excels in technological innovation, pharmaceuticals, finance and shipping. The Lingang Special Area of the China (Shanghai) Pilot Free Trade Zone, in Pudong, is expected to become a testing ground for China's latest reform policies.

The Shanghai Hongqiao International Central Business District, nearby the national-level Hongqiao Transportation Open Hub, is planned to become a key business, exhibition and trade zone in Shanghai. The area is now home to about 70,000 enterprises.

The Shanghai government has also revealed the construction plans for five new towns in its suburbs aimed at optimizing its industrial layout and creating new engines for growth.

MAIL TO DISTRICT CHIEFjiading@jiading.gov.cn

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