Painting a bright picture, the mayor talks about Shanghai’s economy and public services
Dong Jun / SHINE
Shanghai Mayor Gong Zheng held a press conference after the sixth session of the 15th Shanghai People’s Congress, the city’s legislative body, closed on Sunday. He answered questions on the city’s various development and public service issues. We took notes on his answers; Here they are:
Dong Jun / SHINE
Expectations for Shanghai’s economic development this year
The city’s economic growth target for this year has been set at 5.5%, taking into account both the current and long-term situation, and the pressure on demand, supply and expectations .
Despite the current difficulties and challenges, the economic fundamentals that will support the city’s high-quality development remain unchanged, laying a solid foundation for stable and healthy economic growth in 2022.
The key to this year’s work is to prioritize “stability” and initiate more supportive policies and measures.
The city will implement practical measures to ensure stability in six fronts (namely employment, financial sector, foreign trade, foreign investment, domestic investment and expectations) and security in six areas ( referring to job security, basic living needs, the functioning of market entities, food and energy security, stable industrial and supply chains and the normal functioning of first level governments).
In terms of continued progress, the authorities pledged to carry out national strategic tasks, further strengthen the “four core functions”, deepen the construction of the “five centers”, and continuously improve the capacity and the basic skills of the city.
Secrets to successful control of the COVID-19 pandemic
First, a strong sense of crisis and a strict and thorough implementation of all routine preventive measures.
Second, precise, rapid and early action. Pandemic teams arrive on site within two hours of identifying COVID cases, and within four hours the basic epidemiological investigation is complete. Within 24 hours, testing, site control, transportation and quarantine can be completed. In this way, pandemic control measures are confined to the community level, the quarantine period is kept to a minimum and the cost is minimal.
Third, the use of science in the prevention of COVID. Expert opinions are consulted and informed decisions are made based on scientific analyses. Government electronic portals are used to perform accurate patient contact tracing.
Fourth, top priority given to defending against the virus. Over 94% of Shanghai’s permanent population has been vaccinated, and local residents are doing a good job of taking personal precautions.
Construction of a scientific and technological innovation center
After years of persistent efforts, a basic cadre of science and technology innovation center has been formed, and it is now at the key stage of function upgrade.
The city will strengthen its science and technology capabilities, strengthen its innovation capabilities, and focus more on institutions, facilities and talent teams.
It will also accelerate the gathering of first-class scientific and technological research institutions and help them to seize cutting-edge technologies; accelerate the construction of first-class science and technology facilities and promote the open sharing of major facilities; and cultivate and attract more domestic and foreign talent.
Pioneering Role of Pudong New Area and New Direction for Lingang
Pushing forward high-quality reform and opening up in the Pudong New Area is a key strategic task for Shanghai.
This year, the government will focus on advancing a set of major reform and opening-up measures, and establishing a set of functional platforms for industry innovation and services.
A batch of world-class industrial clusters will be created to seek new momentum in new industries, new business forms and new spaces, with a focus on boosting key industries including integrated circuits, biomedicine , artificial intelligence and aerospace.
Shanghai will also encourage the enactment of new regulations for Pudong, including on green finance and smart connected vehicles.
This year is the landmark year of the three-year plan for the Lingang Special Zone Free Trade Pilot Zone in China (Shanghai). The focus will be more on emerging industries. Last year, the new energy vehicle sector became Lingang’s first industrial cluster to top 100 billion yuan ($15.77 billion). This year, Shanghai aims to see the high-end equipment industry also cross the 100 billion yuan mark. And the scale of CI, biomedicine and AI industries is expected to double in 2022.
Emphasis will also be placed on a new wave of openness policies, the implementation and optimization of new functional platforms.
Shanghai still a hotspot for foreign investment
Last year, Shanghai became home to 60 new regional headquarters of multinational corporations and 25 new foreign-funded R&D centers, bringing the total number to 831 and 506, respectively, indicating that the city has remained a hotspot hot for foreign investors and a top choice for multinationals. in their overall industrial chain, supply chain and innovation chain organization.
Shanghai will push relentlessly for a deeper, wider and higher-level opening.
With the entry into force of the regional comprehensive economic partnership agreement on January 1 this year, the city will introduce a new negative list for foreign investment, deepen the opening up of the service sector and continue to build an environment first-class trade-oriented, law-based and international, to create better conditions for foreign-funded enterprises to invest and take root in Shanghai.
What’s going on in Shanghai’s five “new towns”?
A general master plan for the five “new towns”, in Fengxian, Jiading, Qingpu, Songjiang and Nanhui, has already been completed. In addition, the government has also completed planning for 23 key opportunity areas. The construction of 255 projects in the “new towns” has been launched. Also, the tertiary hospitals in the central districts of the city have started to open up and build their new branches in all the “new towns”. In the meantime, 50 head offices and 62 R&D centers have opened their doors there.
Next, the government plans to direct more resources to the “new towns”.
In the government’s plan, each “new city” will have a distinctive industrial park with more favorable industrial policies. Universities, institutes and companies, including multinationals, from the city center will be encouraged to settle in these “new towns”.
The five “new towns” will also be more accessible in the near future. Each of them will have its own transportation hub, and the city’s traffic corridors will be further expanded to connect the “new towns” and connect them to other parts of the Yangtze River Delta region.
Residents of the five “new towns” will also benefit from better public services, notably in the areas of education, health, sports, culture, care for the elderly and nurseries. Each “new town” will have at least one university campus and sporting or cultural facilities at the town level. More affordable rental housing projects will be built in “new towns” to attract more young professionals to settle and work there.
Green City and Green Integration of the Yangtze River Delta Region
Shanghai aims to become a city-park. It plans to build more than 600 new parks during the 14th Five-Year Plan (2021-2025) for economic and social development so that the total number of parks in the city exceeds 1,000 by the end of the period. Last year, 126 parks were built around the city, and this year another 120 are planned.
The southern section of the popular Expo Culture Park in Pudong, with many cultural facilities, is expected to open by 2024, so residents can enjoy the park in its entirety by then.
Besides building parks in areas along the Huangpu River and Suzhou Stream, the government will facilitate the construction of green belts around the city to enable residents from all parts of the city to have close access to pleasant green spaces. In the meantime, other sports and cultural facilities will be added to the existing parks to meet the needs of residents.
A priority project for the demonstration area of ecology and greenery integration of the Yangtze River Delta in southwest Shanghai is currently the “water city living room”. The government will also start the construction of the “riparian courtyards” as well as the linking of waterways to create a beautiful belt of nature. A water treatment project for the shoreline area of Dianshan Lake will start soon.
Digital city and digital life
Progress has been made in many aspects of Shanghai’s digital transformation over the past year, which has further boosted the city’s new economy. The software and IT services industry’s total output exceeded 1.26 trillion yuan last year, up more than 15 percent from a year earlier. A total of 3,458 frequent services are now available on the government’s electronic portal and 1,150 applications have been integrated into the government’s urban management portal.
The city will further engage market entities in the process of its digital transformation and seek to develop more leading platforms, companies and market players. The government also aims to bring the economy, services and digital applications closer to the inhabitants in order to make their lives easier thanks to digital technology.
During this time, the city will work to make older residents feel more comfortable using modern technology and provide more support to less tech-savvy people so that no one is left behind. account in the digitization process.