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President's key speech injects confidence in Shanghai's role

By Shi Jing in Shanghai | China Daily | Updated: 2018-11-12 08:09
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Expo staff members prepare mutton imported from New Zealand for visitors at the booth of the Chinese company Bright Food Group at the China International Import Expo in Shanghai on Tuesday. [Photo by Gao Erqiang/China Daily]

The decisions on the development of Shanghai that President Xi Jinping elaborated on in his keynote speech at the China International Import Expo's opening ceremony are providing new paths for and injecting more confidence into local companies in Shanghai.

The three decisions, which aim at capitalizing on the important role of Shanghai and other areas in China's opening-up, include the expansion of the China (Shanghai) Pilot Free Trade Zone, the launch of a science and technology innovation board at the Shanghai Stock Exchange and experimenting with a registration system for listed companies, as well as the integrated development of the Yangtze River Delta region.

Spring Airlines Chairman Wang Yu said the company is encouraged to see that the integrated development of Yangtze River Delta region has been lifted to the national level, as they have been operating under the main base in Shanghai and the regional bases in Yangzhou, Jiangsu province and Ningbo, Zhejiang province.

"Transportation will assume the key role throughout the whole process of regional integration," he said. "We linked the airline and railway years ago to provide more convenient services to people in the Yangtze River Delta region. With the new decisions, we will further open up our services to a wider range of users to seek higher quality development."

The construction of China's first privately controlled high-speed railway line, the Hangzhou-Shaoxing-Taizhou line, backed by Shanghai-based conglomerate Fosun International Ltd, started late last year and is expected to be completed in 2021. Wen Xiaodong, global partner of Fosun Group, said the line will boost the economy in the Yangtze River Delta region.

"The region is home to the most robust development of privately owned enterprises in China. These companies also have the responsibility to build a more rapid and convenient transportation network, which is the groundwork of integrated development," he said.

Bright Food's chairman Shi Mingfang said that the expanded Shanghai FTZ will provide the company greater access to the overseas market, as well as a better understanding of the market and outbound financing channels.

"More important, we will be able to bring to Chinese consumers high quality products and well-established brands from overseas to cater to their needs," he said.

Shi Yonglei, chairman of the Shanghai-based snack chain Laiyifen Co, said that the three new decisions will exert profound influence on the capital, industry and trade landscape in Shanghai, the Yangtze River Delta region and even the country.

"We are confident of seeing fruitful results achieved in the years to come with the new decisions," he said. "The doubts of many privately owned enterprises have been swept away by President Xi's speech delivered earlier this month. The confidence has been once again consolidated with the new decisions for Shanghai."

Liang Jianzhang, co-founder and chairman of Ctrip, China's largest online travel agency, said the Chinese tourism industry, especially inbound trips, will be greatly boosted with further opening-up policies.

"Foreign tourists are strongly curious about Chinese culture. The air quality and transportation security of the country has been improved over the past few years, both of which will attract more overseas visitors to China," he said.

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