Shanghai government lays out economic goals for coming year

Huang Yixuan
The city is targeting GDP growth of 6 percent in 2020, along with a slew of other measures to promote economic prosperity and development.
Huang Yixuan

Shanghai has set its goals for economic development in 2020, when the city's gross domestic product is expected to grow by around 6 percent, according to the city's Report on the Work of the Government.

"This year is critical in completing the construction of a moderately prosperous society in all respects and the implementation of the 13th Five-Year Plan," Shanghai Mayor Ying Yong pointed out at the Third Session of the 15th Shanghai People's Congress on Wednesday.

"We must stay keenly aware of the goal of the great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation, as well as the global context undergoing changes unseen in a century, and align Shanghai's future development with the strategic position given by the central leadership, the greater context of economic globalization, China's overall development, and the national plan of the Yangtze River Delta's development," Ying said.

Shanghai proposed targets for this year's economic development, aiming to post 6 percent GDP growth. The revenue in the general budget is expected to be on par with last year, and overall expenditure on research and development will continue to account for around 4 percent of the city's GDP, as estimated.

Surveyed and registered urban unemployment rates, meanwhile, are targeted at around 4.8 percent and 4.3 percent, respectively. The city also expects per capita disposable income of residents to rise in tandem with economic growth, and the CPI to increase at around 3 percent in 2020.

Ying noted the importance of advancing the "three new strategic tasks" on all fronts. 

"In an effort to strengthen the city's function as a hub for opening-up, we will move faster in shaping new systems for an even more open economy and strive to translate the major opportunities presented by the Three Major Tasks and One Major Platform as well as institutional innovation into a powerful locomotive for development and real benefits," Ying said.

Shanghai will press ahead with the development of the Lingang Special Area of the Shanghai Free Trade Zone and fully leverage the leading role of the FTZ. The city will put into practice policies related to liberalization of investment, trade and transportation, free flow of capital, and freedom of employment as well as convenient connectivity; adopt an internationally competitive tax system and a comprehensive risk management system; advance the development of Yangshan Special Comprehensive Bonded Area; and build a special economic function zone and a modern new town. 

Meanwhile, the STAR Market of the Shanghai Stocks Exchange will be further promoted with accelerated reforms in key areas, the report mentioned.

Actions will be taken to support and encourage initial public offerings from more technology and innovative companies, attract more intermediaries in legal, credit rating and sponsor services, and accelerate the establishment of important investment and financing platforms that serve technology and innovative enterprises nationwide. 

As for the integrated development of the Yangtze River Delta, the Outline Plan will be implemented in full to actively promote coordinated regional development. 

In the meantime, Shanghai will host the third China International Import Expo "to embrace an even more open economy."

The city will make efforts to amplify the spillover effect of the CIIE and accelerate the development of the import and export distribution center, which connects the Yangtze River Delta, serves the whole country and exerts its influence in Asia-Pacific at large. 

With the Foreign Investment Law going into effect this year, a topic which has drawn attention from foreign investors all over the world, Shanghai will capitalize on roles of the foreign investment promotion and service platform to welcome more regional headquarters and functional arms of multinational corporations to the city.

Also of note, the city will further enhance the underpinning role of export in boosting economic growth. To facilitate the high-quality development of trade, supportive policies and measures will be put into practice to stabilize foreign trade, with focus on consolidating traditional markets and actively exploring emerging markets such as those along the Belt and Road. 

In addition, Ying pledged to build a moderately prosperous society of higher standards in all respects, put in place the framework of a center of innovation in science and technology with global influence, and establish itself as an international economic, financial, trade and shipping center.

For instance, Shanghai will expedite the establishment of national laboratories, as well as complete and inaugurate science facilities like the soft X-ray and live cell imaging platform. The Zhangjiang Science City will witness the launch of 82 second-round projects, and the basic framework of the Zhangjiang Comprehensive National Science Center will be laid down.

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