Shanghai: an opening-up and modernizing city
Speech by Ms. Yang Dinghua, Secretary General of Shanghai Municipal People's Government
2006/04/17

"India Today Forum", India, April 11, 2006

Ladies and Gentlemen,

This year is the year of friendship between China and India. It's my honor to visit your beautiful city Delhi and participate in today's forum. I would like to express my heartfelt appreciation for the sincere invitation and gracious hospitality of the organizers. Thank you!

China and India are close neighbors with increasing trade and economic exchange. Last year, the bi-lateral trade between China and India stood at $18.7 billion, up by nearly 40% over last year. It's projected that the bi-lateral trade this year will exceed $20 billion. In this context, Shanghai's economic and trade exchange with India has also grown rapidly. Last year, the import and export between Shanghai and India reached $1.7 billion, an increase of 37% over last year. As of the end of 2005, India had 28 investment projects in Shanghai with contractual value of $25 million, covering sectors such as software, information and biology. We are delighted to see that the Sino-Indian relations have entered a brand new stage featuring overall development.

Today, senior officials from the government, entrepreneurs and scholars come together to have extensive and in-depth discussions of urban construction and economic development at this forum, which is a very important platform as well as a very good opportunity for us to promote communication and cooperation and benefit from each other's strength. I would like to avail myself of this opportunity to make a presentation on Shanghai's latest development.

Shanghai is an international megacity with a permanent population of 18 million. Shanghai is also an economic center, holding a very important position in the national economy. Since China adopted its reform and opening-up policies, in particular, after the central government made the decision to carry out pilot reforms and opening-up measures in Pudong, Shanghai has ushered in a new period and scored enormous achievements in its modernization drive, becoming an epitome of China's rapid socio-economic development.

Shanghai has realized sustained, smooth and relative fast socio-economic development. Since 1992, Shanghai's GDP has been growing at a double-digit speed for 14 consecutive years. The GDP of Shanghai in 2005 reached $11 billion. With rapid economic development, the social undertakings including science and technology, education, culture, public health and sports also made great progress. As a result, the living standards and quality of the Shanghai people have improved significantly. Now, the per capita floor area of urban residents reached 25M2, and the average life expectancy is 80 years old.

Shanghai stands at the forefront of China's reform and opening up. By the end of 2005, Shanghai has attracted more than 40,000 foreign-invested companies and received actualized Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) of nearly $60 billion. 430 out of the Fortune Global 500 have established presence in Shanghai. More than 400 regional headquarters of the multinational companies (MNCs), investment companies and R&D centers are now in Shanghai. What's more, Shanghai has successfully hosted many international conferences, such as the APEC meeting and the Fortune Global Forum. In December 2002, Shanghai won the bid to host the 2010 World Expo.

Shanghai is transforming from an industrial and commercial city to an economic center of China. Shanghai hosts a number of national-level factors market including securities, foreign exchange, gold, futures, IPR, technology and human resources, making Shanghai an economic center of China. The volume of tradable securities of Shanghai Stock Exchange (SSE) accounts for nearly 80% of the national total, and the volume of the futures market 50% of the national total. Shanghai also hosts the largest number of foreign-invested financial institutions in China. As of the end of 2005, there were more than 300 foreign-invested and Joint Venture financial organizations.

Shanghai has strengthened its position as a trading port and boosted its shipping capacity. Shanghai is the biggest port in China. As a shipping center, Shanghai's capacity has been constantly enhanced. In 2005, Shanghai handled foreign trade worth $350 billion, up by 24.1% over last year, accounting for more than a quarter of the national total. The cargo throughput reached 443 million tons, up by 16.9% over last year, becoming the world's largest port. The container throughput of Shanghai reached 18 million TEUs, 3.5 million more TEUs than last year, remaining the third largest container terminal. Meanwhile, the Pudong and Hongqiao airports of Shanghai handled over 41 million passengers, up by 15.3% over last year. The throughput of air cargo and mail reached 2.2 million tons, up by 14% over last year.

Ladies and Gentlemen, from this year on, Shanghai will be implementing its 11th five-year program. The first two decades of the 21st century is an important period of strategic opportunities for China. By 2020, Shanghai will become one of the economic, financial, trade and shipping centers of the world ("Four Centers"). Focusing on this development goal, in the coming 5 years, Shanghai will implement in earnest the scientific approach to development, make efforts to build a harmonious society, stick to development as our top priority, forge ahead with reform and opening up, improve people's lives and rally our work around the central objective of increasing Shanghai's international competitiveness. Shanghai will put in place the general framework for the "Four Centers" initiative, host a successful, wonderful and unforgettable World Expo and continue to improve the living standards of our people through rapid and sound economic and social development. To this end, we would focus on the following priorities.

1. We will transform the model of economic growth and put in place a service sector-driven industrial structure. We will unswervingly promote industrial restructuring, giving priority to the modern service sector and the manufacturing sector. The tertiary sector will contribute more than 50% to the city's GDP, and in the central districts, the percentage should be higher than 70%. On the one hand, by leveraging the strength of information and communications technology (ICT), We will place a premium on the financial and modern logistics industries and create modern service clusters so as to raise the level, size and added value of the modern service sector. On the other hand, we will introduce new technologies, processes and equipment to the advanced manufacturing sector so as to reach higher levels of technological sophistication, develop more proprietary core technologies and strong brands, thereby boosting the competitiveness of this sector.

2. We will increase the capacity for independent innovation and build an urban innovation system. Innovation capacity is crucial for a city's international competitiveness. By 2010, R&D expenditure will reach 2.8% of Shanghai's GDP. The contribution rate of technological progress will be around 65%. Therefore, We are committed to developing an innovation system with stronger capacities for locally pioneered innovation, innovation through integration and re-innovation through the internalization of imported technologies. The development of a business-led innovation system will gain further momentum. Shanghai will become an innovation-oriented city.

3. We will forge ahead with reform and opening up by taking full advantage of Pudong's head start gained by the pilot projects being implemented there. Reform is a strong driving force for economic and social development. Spearheaded by Pudong's pioneering efforts in development and opening-up, reforms will firmly maintain their socialist market economy orientation. We will intensify the comprehensive and simultaneous reforms of the government, the business, the market and society. We will also implement the opening up policies unswervingly in accordance with our WTO commitments and the master plan of the country.

4. We will build a harmonious society and continue to improve the living standards of the people. The ultimate objective of development is to improve people's lives. We will adopt a putting-people-first approach, accelerate the development of social undertakings, improve public service and promote overall human development. We attach great importance to the living standards of our people by focusing our work on employment, housing and social security.

5. We are making proactive efforts to prepare for the 2010 World Expo with a view to presenting a successful, wonderful and unforgettable World Expo. Regarded as "Olympics in the areas of economy, culture, science and technology", World Expos are top-level comprehensive exhibitions of far-reaching influence. The theme of 2010 Shanghai World Expo is "Better city, Better life". It is the first time for a developing country to host World Expo. It is estimated that nearly 200 countries, international organizations and companies will participate in it with an audience of more than 70 million people. Planning against high technological, ecological and cultural standards, we are now making all out efforts to make the 2010 World Expo in Shanghai a platform to show the fruits of world's economy, science and technology, to share cultures and arts and to promote friendly communication.

Ladies and Gentlemen, a city's development would not be possible without the development of modern infrastructure. This is particularly so in Shanghai. In order for Shanghai to become an international economic, financial, trade and shipping center, Shanghai's role as the regional hub must be strengthened by laying emphasis on key projects of infrastructure. In this regard, Shanghai has formulated a good plan, the three pillars of which are transportation, environmental protection and regeneration of old neighborhoods.

First, we will forge ahead with the development of key infrastructure focusing on hubs, functionality and networks. Our objective in the area of seaport development is to rank Shanghai among ports with the largest container throughput and to establish Shanghai as one of the international shipping centers by 2010. Last year, the phase one project of Yangshan Deepwater Port and the Yangshan Free Port Area were officially put into operation. We will expedite the development of follow-up projects and improve the soft environment for the shipping industry. In the area of airport development, our objective is for Shanghai to become an aviation hub by 2010. By then, there will be five runways in the Pudong International Airport, handling 80 million passengers and 5.7 million tons of cargo annually. For the Hongqiao International Airport, there will be two runways, handling 30 million passengers every year. In the area of Information Port, our objective is to build Shanghai into an ICT-enabled city by 2010. At present, Shanghai already has a relatively sophisticated information infrastructure. The next step of our work is to further expand ICT applications in economic and social development while improving the existing infrastructure. Our objective in the area of rail transport is to put in place a basic network with 13 lines and total length in operation of 512 km. The target for 2010 is 11 lines and 400 km. In the area of expressways, our objective is to put in place a full-fledged network with 880 km of roads open of traffic. In the area of waterways, we will step up the development of a high-grade inland waterway network featuring one ring and 10 spoke-like major waterways.

Second, we will strengthen environmental protection and ecological conservation. Since the 1990s, Shanghai has implemented the strategy of sustainable development. In particular, Shanghai implemented two rounds of the Three-Year Plan of Action for Environmental Protection. For 6 years in a row, the investment in environmental protection has been more than 3% of Shanghai's GDP with a total of $14 billion. In 2002, Shanghai was awarded by the United Nations for its special contribution to urban sustainable development. Aiming at building an eco-friendly city, Shanghai will implement the third round of the Three-Year Plan of Action for Environmental Protection. We will further improve water quality, control air pollution, development treatment facilities to handle solid wastes, industrial and agricultural pollution. Meanwhile, we will also accelerate industrial restructuring so as to phase out heavily polluting enterprises and promote clean production. As a result, we hope Shanghai will have bluer sky, greener land and cleaner water.

Third, we strike a good balance between preserving the historical cultural heritage and regenerating the old neighborhoods in our efforts to improve the living conditions and living environment of our people. We will further increase the green area in the central districts and public space, control over development and the layout of high buildings so as to provide a better environment for the people.

Ladies and Gentleman, through our unremitting efforts, Shanghai will become a more glorious international metropolis. A thousand mile journey begins with the first step.We will march towards our set goals confidently. We are also very clear that Shanghai can learn so much from the experience of many famous cities of the world, including Delhi. Our friends from India are more than welcome to pay a visit to Shanghai. I believe we can strengthen our mutual understanding and cooperation to write a new chapter of friendship.

Thank you for your attention!

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