China's eastern metropolis of Shanghai pledges to further open up its door to let the world share the benefits of its high-quality growth.
While delivering the government work report at the annual session of the municipal legislature, Shanghai mayor Ying Yong promised that the city will strengthen its efforts in reform and opening up, while pursuing high-quality growth in the year 2019.
Shanghai recorded an overall economic growth of 6.6 percent last year, with its GDP per capita exceeding 20,000 U.S. dollars. The city expects to attain a growth rate of 6 percent to 6.5 percent this year.
Experts said the GDP per capita is an important indicator of a region's economic wellbeing. The fact that it has exceeded 20,000 U.S. dollars means that Shanghai's growth has reached a higher level.
Quan Heng, deputy head of the Shanghai Academy of Social Sciences, said as China aims to build itself into a moderately prosperous society by 2020, the growth of GDP per capita is a key measurement.
Quan added that besides per capita GDP, other factors such as economic structure, efficiency and technological innovation are also important indicators of development.
According to the government work report, Shanghai has seen the structure, quality and efficiency of its economy continuing to improve last year. The added value of the tertiary sector accounted for 69.9 percent of the GDP. Total research and development expenditures accounted for 4 percent of the city's GDP.
The city has been boosting its real economy, with the industrial investment increasing by 17.7 percent in 2018, the greatest growth rate the city has seen during the past decade. It recorded around a 10 percent growth rate in the output of emerging industries including new energy cars, high-end medical equipment, integrated circuits and biomedicine.
The city vows to further promote high-quality growth this year. It will deepen supply-side structural reform and advance the construction of a modern industrial system featuring modern services, strategic emerging industries and advanced manufacturing.
The city will further boost its science and innovation sector and fortify its function as an international financial, trade and shipping center.
Meanwhile, Shanghai will further upgrade the real economy and come up with supporting policies for industries including integrated circuits, artificial intelligence and biomedicine.
The city will push ahead with industrial innovation projects such as intelligent connected vehicles, and it expects to see the mass production of 14 nanometer-integrated circuits this year.
Development of the Shanghai free trade zone (FTZ) is expecting new momentum, as a new section will be built this year. Policies and systems will also be adopted in alignment with international norms to upgrade the FTZ, said Mayor Ying.
A science and technology innovation board will be set up with a pilot registration system for listed companies in the Shanghai Stock Exchange, said the report.
The city will further improve the private investment environment. In an effort to ease enterprises' access to market and financing, the city vows to put into good use the bailout fund worth 10 billion yuan (1.48 billion U.S. dollars) for listed companies.
It will channel 10 billion yuan of credit and secured loans to high-quality small and medium private companies.
It will also gradually increase the size of policy-based financing guarantee funds for medium, small and micro enterprises to 10 billion yuan.
At the same time, Shanghai is actively participating in the integrated development of the Yangtze River Delta region.
This year, the city will cooperate with its partners in constructing programs in infrastructure, scientific innovation, industrial collaboration, environment and market systems, the mayor said.
Cooperation mechanisms will be further improved in public services such as pension service, medical and health services, human resources and social welfare.
THE SECOND IMPORT EXPO
Shanghai is determined to successfully host the second China International Import Expo (CIIE) this year, according to the mayor.
The city will normalize the expo's pilot mode of bonded display and trade, having it occur on a regular basis.
As the world's first import-themed national-level expo, the first CIIE was held in Shanghai from Nov. 5-10 in 2018 and concluded with deals worth about 57.83 billion U.S. dollars. The expo attracted 3,617 foreign exhibitors and more than 400,000 buyers from home and abroad.
Ying said the city plans to open wider for foreign investment and foreign firms, amplifying the expo's spillover effects.
According to the CIIE bureau, more than 500 companies from more than 40 countries and regions have confirmed participation in the 2019 CIIE. Among them, there are over 70 Fortune Global 500 firms and leading enterprises in various industries.