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Shanghai Daily News Digest

The Development of the Shanghai Economic 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 set out in its official reply to the Overall Urban Planning of Shanghai 1999-2020 that Shanghai is 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. So, what is the significance of the Shanghai Economic Center development? What progress has been made so far? And what are the future plans?

The significance of the Shanghai Economic Center Development

As early as 1992, the CPC’s 14th Plenary Meeting report pointed out that Shanghai should be built into an international economic, financial and trade center as soon as possible so as to drive the economic new leap forward of the Yangtze River Delta and the whole Yangtze River basin areas. In 2001, the state council clearly stated in its official reply to the Overall Urban Planning of Shanghai 1999-2020 that Shanghai is to be built into a modern international metropolis and one of the international economic, financial, trade and shipping centers. The construction of “four centers” is a major initiative to promote Shanghai’s economic transformation and long-term development, and more importantly shows China’s s steadfast determination to further promote reform and opening up and transformation of the development mode so as to constantly increase the national overall competitiveness.

The “four centers” share the relationship of interdependence and common development: the economic center is the foundation, the financial center is the core, the shipping center is the guarantee and the trade center is the condition. The financial center, shipping center and trade center constitute the economic center with basic characteristics of aggregation, radiation and demonstration. The construction of the “four centers” should be advancing in a coordinated manner to realize the organic fusion of the economic, financial, shipping and trade centers. The construction of the Shanghai international economic center is part China's significant national strategy.

The progress of the Shanghai Economic Center Development

Since the setting of the “four centers” construction goal, in the international economic center, Shanghai has realized continuous enhancement of comprehensive and industrial competitiveness, the steady rise of the economic center’s international status and dynamic integration of financial, shipping and trade functions. Innovative economy has become the main driver of economic growth.

During the “Twelfth Five-year” period, Shanghai gave full play to the economic center’s aggregation and radiation functions, focused on perfecting the market system and speed uping the transformation of the economic development model in the process of enhancing the market’s resource allocation ability.
According to statistics, in 2015, the city's GDP reached 2.5 trillion yuan, an increase of 6.9% over the previous year, with an annual growth rate of 7.5% over the past five years. New employment increased by 597,000 and the unemployment rate has been controlled at 4.1%. Consumer prices rose 2.4%. Added value of the tertiary industry accounted for 67.8% of the city’s GDP, 10.5% higher than that of five years ago, meaning that the service economy-oriented industry structure has been substantially established. China (Shanghai) Free Trade Zone expansion work has been completed successfully. Instructions on the science and technology innovation center development and supporting policies have been made and implemented. A large number of institutional innovations and policies and measures on technological innovation have also been carried out.

Future Planning

Shanghai for the first time clearly pointed out the characteristics and connotations of the international economic center and discussed the “international economic center” from three points of view, namely essential features, main support and the importance of paying attention to the development of advanced manufacturing industry in the “Thirteenth Five-year” Plan. A framework for the international economic center has been clearly formed, with strong comprehensive economic power, high industrial level and strong aggregation and radiation ability.

Shanghai will accelerate the establishment of a new-type industrial system with the core of modern service industry, the guidance of strategic emerging industry and the support of advanced manufacturing industry in the next 5 years. Among them, an intelligence-intensive, distinctively modern service industry is the important barrier of the economic center; while an energetic and creative advanced manufacturing industry built on sold foundations is the strong support.


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