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Shanghai Daily News Digest

The development of the Shanghai International Trade Center - 2016-10-14

 

In the early 1990s, Deng Xiaoping raised the strategic conception of Shanghai’s development direction and functional orientation. He said, “If policy is correct and no big problem occurs, Shanghai will be built into a comprehensive international center of commerce, finance, trade, high-technology and information in 30 years at most.” In 2001, the state council clearly stated in an official reply to the Overall Urban Planning of Shanghai 1999-2020 that Shanghai was to be built into a modern international metropolis and one of the international economic, financial, trade and shipping centers. Since then, the Shanghai government and all sectors of society have worked together, promoting the construction of “four centers” in Shanghai. How to promote the important role of the Shanghai International Trade Center development? What progress has been made so far? And what are the plans for the future?
How to develop the Shanghai International Trade Center?

The overall idea of the development of the Shanghai International Trade Center is “two improvements” and “two speeding-ups”: to improve the market opening up through lowering the threshold of market access and simplifying the process of market access so as to attract the agglomeration of Chinese and foreign trading entities; to improve trade facilitation so as to promote an unobstructed flow of trade elements and improve trade efficiency; to speed up the construction of a modern market system with emphasis on production factor market and consumer services market so as to give full play to the basic role of market in the allocation of resources and the leading role of circulation in production and consumption; and to speed up the provision of a first-class business development environment so as to make Shanghai into a modern international metropolis with more trading opportunities, low comprehensive cost, good market order and satisfied consumers both near and far.

The Progress of Shanghai International Trade Center development

During the “Twelfth Five-year” Plan, Shanghai International Trade Center development has made huge breakthroughs with the basic formation of the core functional framework, mainly in the following four aspects:

Trade scale has expanded, trade structure has been optimized and the total sales of commodities, retail sales of social consumer goods, e-commerce transactions and other main domestic trade circulation indexes are in the forefront of China's major cities. Trading entities have been aggregated, market competitiveness is improved and in 2014, Shanghai enterprises with import and export performances totaled 40,665, including 52 enterprises with trade volume over $1 billion. Wholesale and retail trade enterprises number more than 140,000, among which up to 83 enterprises with trade volume over ten billion yuan. With the number of MNCs’ regional headquarters, investment companies, and research and development centers reaching 490, 297 and 381 respectively, Shanghai has become the mainland city with the highest number of enterprise HQs.

The construction of trade barriers has been speeded up and the supporting role of key areas and important platforms is strengthening. Shanghai Free Trade Zone (FTZ) has been officially listed and utilized. Hongqiao Business District, Disneyland Resort, National Convention Center (Shanghai) and other major function centers and project constructions have made remarkable progress.

National Convention Center (Shanghai)

Trade environment and trade facilitation have improved; Shanghai FTZ’s system innovation has gained fruitful results, such as an investment management system with negative inventory management as its core, a trade regulation system with trade facilitation as its emphasis, a financial innovation system with its goal of capital account convertibility and opening up of the financial service industry, and a supervision system with the core of government function transformation.

In 2015, Shanghai had reached or almost reached the level of the world’s main trade center cities, with the port of entry’s import and export of goods accounting for about 27% of the country and about 3% of the world, comprehensively surpassing Hong Kong and Singapore. Import and export of services accounted for 30% of the country and about 2% of the world.

Future Planning

According to the “Thirteenth Five-year” Plan, the future development of the Shanghai International Trade Center will focus on open and innovative modern market system and the construction of an international consumer city, strengthen Shanghai’s trade hub function as world-class port of entry, speed up the coordinated development of “attracting foreign investment” and “going out”, intensify Shanghai’s service radiation function as a global city, and provide a stable, fair, transparent and predictable business environment. Taking the lead in developing a higher-level open economy, Shanghai will make Zhangjiang, Lingang, Hongqiao, the Bund, the Expo area and other areas into important carriers of the city’s opening up. The goal is to basically construct an international trade center with resource allocation function of both international and domestic markets.

 


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