Mayor outlines policies to achieve economic growth
Shanghai will give priority to launching pioneer and integrated policies, issuing new bailout measures, and optimizing the business environment to stabilize economic growth this year, the city's mayor has said.
Shanghai Mayor Gong Zheng was answering questions from the media after the first session of the 16th Shanghai People's Congress concluded on Sunday.
"With active response to the impact of the coronavirus and other unexpected factors, Shanghai's economy saw a V-shaped rebound in 2022, showing that its economic resilience, potential, vitality and long-term positive fundamentals have not changed," Gong said.
The city's core functions have been further consolidated. For example, its financial market achieved an about 20 percent year-on-year surge in total transaction volume last year, while the container throughput of Shanghai Port maintained its first place in the world for 13 consecutive years.
Reform and opening-up results continued to be positive, with actual utilization of foreign investment hitting a new high, and more regional headquarters and research and development centers of multinational companies were set up in the city.
Shanghai also saw new emerging industries playing a more important role in driving economic growth, while new jobs were added and per-capita disposable income rose in the city last year.
To achieve this year's target for economic growth at more than 5.5 percent, Shanghai will adhere to "stability" at the forefront while pursuing progress, highlighting the work of stabilizing growth, employment and prices, Gong said.
"In particular, we need to make greater efforts in three aspects and seek greater breakthroughs," Gong said. These are to give full play to the leading role of national key strategic tasks and launch more pioneer and integrated policies, to issue a new round of bailout measures to shore up confidence and expand demand, and to further optimize business environment.
Gong also noted the achievements and future plans of the Lingang Special Area of the city's pilot free trade zone.
The Lingang area, in the past three years since its launch, has cumulatively issued 283 policies of various kinds including 36 national firsts. The number of signed projects has reached 1,380 in general, involving a total investment of 774.5 billion yuan (US$115.5 billion). And the main economic indicators have maintained double-digit growth.
Especially in 2022, Lingang's total industrial output, total social fixed-asset investment, and the total tax revenue have all soared by about 30 percent, giving full play to its role as the city's economic growth pole and engine, Gong said.
For the next step, more focus will be put on expanding system-based opening up in Lingang, exploring institutional innovation in areas such as digital economy, fair competition, and intellectual property protection.
It will invest in building world-class industrial clusters, accelerating the formation industrial clusters worth hundreds of billions of yuan, such as artificial intelligence, new-energy vehicles, high-end equipment and integrated circuits.
Meanwhile, to enhance global service functions, Lingang is to vigorously cultivate emerging financial industries and business patterns such as financial technology and cross-border finance, and push ahead the development of offshore trade, digital trade and other new types of international trade.
On bailout measures, the city has introduced and implemented three rounds of policies since March 2022 to stabilize growth and help enterprises to alleviate their difficulties, Gong said. Tax and fee reductions for various market entities have accumulated more than 300 billion yuan throughout the year.
Enterprises are the basic cells of the economy and society, and Shanghai has always placed a special importance on protecting market players and promoting enterprise development. For short-term enterprises facing difficulties in finding orders, reducing costs, managing financing and other operating issues, the city is now researching and developing another new round of policy initiatives, Gong said.