Shanghai Mayor Ying Yong delivered the government work report on Sunday, summing up the government's achievements in 2018 and mapping out the plan for 2019. Let's take a look.
Shanghai's economy grew steadily in 2018 to 3.27 trillion yuan (US$480.2 billion), expanding 6.6 percent from a year earlier. GDP is expected to rise between 6% and 6.5% this year.
582,000 new jobs were created in 2018 and the registered urban unemployment ratio was 4.3%. In 2019, the government aims to create about 500,000 new jobs and keep the unemployment ratio at the same level.
Investment in research and development accounted for 4% of GDP in 2018, and the same amount is earmarked to be spent this year.
Consumer inflation was 1.6% in 2018, and is expected to be kept in accordance with the national index this year.
The annual average disposable income of Shanghai residents grew 8.8% to 64,183 yuan in 2018, growth of 7.1% after the deduction of consumer inflation. In 2019, it is expected to keep pace with economic growth.
Shanghai's metro network reached 705 kilometers in 2018, and another 128 kilometers of new metro lines will be built in 2019.
The government built 81 new daily care centers for the elderly, and another 80 will be built this year. An extra 7,103 beds were added at senior care homes across the city, and another 7,000 are planned for 2019.
To make the city "warm," the government built 1,003 "love relay stations" offering rest places for outdoor workers including sanitation workers, deliverymen and taxi drivers in 2018. 200 more will open in 2019.
To relieve the burden on young working parents, authorities in 2018 opened 122 childcare facilities, accepting kids aged between 2 and 3. In 2019, an additional 50 such facilities will be added. 53 new kindergartens were built last year, and 30 more will go up in 2019.
In 2018, more than 10 million square meters of old housing was renovated, with an additional 3 million square meters set to be upgraded this year. More than 180,000 households had their sewage systems renovated in 2018, and the renovation for another 80,000 is planned for this year.
In 2018, 89 jogging and walking paths were built in parks, green lands and residential complexes. Another 100 paths will be constructed this year. 72 sports fields were laid in 2018, and the 2019 target is 60.
In 2018, authorities opened 509 "love summer care" camps for primary school students, where they can take classes, do homework and attend activities. 550 new camps will open this summer.
116 kilometers of overhead electric wires were replaced with underground cables in 2018. Another 100 kilometers of wires will be removed this year.
Vertical greenery totaling 404,000 square meters was added last year, and the same amount will go up in 2019.
Shanghai invested 3% of the total GDP in environmental protection in 2018, about the same as what will be spent this year.
The annual average density of PM2.5 dropped by 7.7% to 36 mg/m3 in 2018. More than 80% of the year saw "excellent" and "good" air quality days, 5.8% more than 2017.
The city planted 76,000 mu (50 square kilometers) of new forest in 2018, and the target for 2019 is 75,000 mu.
Shanghai's government made way for 1,307 hectares of new greenery area in 2018. 1,200 hectares are planned for this year.
The city constructed 223.9 kilometers of greenway in 2018, and the target for 2019 is about 200 kilometers.
The number of special administrative measures for admittance of foreign investment has been slashed to 45.
A total of 71,000 free trade accounts have been opened so far.
The scheme of separating business licenses from administrative permits has been piloted on 198 items
Companies in the zone have invested in over 200 Belt and Road Initiative projects.
The first China International Import Expo, held in Shanghai last year, attracted participants from 172 countries, regions and international organizations, 3617 companies, as well as over 400,000 domestic and overseas buyers, generating US$57.83 billion worth of intended deals in annualized terms. This year, Shanghai will go all out to host the second CIIE, with the aim of shaping new systems for a more open economy.
Shanghai strives to build itself into an international center for economy, finance, trade, shipping and science and innovation. What achievements have been made in these areas over the past year? Let’s take a look.
Shanghai last year launched a one-stop portal of government services for citizens and businesses to improve its business environment.
In this section, our reporters interviewed some pedestrians on Shanghai's streets and asked what issues they are concerned most about regarding the city. Let's see what they said.
I invest in stocks, although I think the stock market now is not very stable. I really hope it can be controlled a bit better so that small investors like me have a better chance.
For me, housing prices in Shanghai are too high to afford. Actually, I think it's a nationwide phenomenon, but I still hope that the Shanghai government can do more to control it.
There are always many large cars driving on the street in front of my home, which kicks up a lot of dust. If I leave my window open when I go out, the whole place will be filthy. This is one problem I hope can be solved.
Once I ordered a telecommunication service, but when I encountered some problems and wanted to call them, I was always unable to get through on the phone. It is hard for customers to file complaints to these companies.
I don't plan to live in Shanghai for a long time, because the housing prices are too high. I can afford a small house in a second- or third-tier city, but in Shanghai it may take me several decades to buy one.
Shanghai should make Internet services more accessible for aged and disabled people. Though Shanghai is developing its information structure and services rapidly, aged people often face "embarrassing moments." They don’t know how to use new devices and new services, such as online reservations for hospitals and government bureaus, calling a taxi through an app, and adding credit to transportation cards online.
More affordable nurseries should be built to meet the increasing demand. There are about 200,000 babies born every year in Shanghai, and 80 percent of families with children under 3 need childcare services. But just 5 percent have their children taken care of at nurseries. The government should build more community-based childcare centers, which are convenient and not so expensive.
Shanghai should set up a new 'street chief' system like the current 'river chief' system, which would enable timely intervention whenever there is a food safety case. Currently the situation is often "time-sensitive" with some food safety cases because officers cannot arrive on scene in time. Some unscrupulous eatery owners often take advantage of this time gap to violate the rules. That can be solved utilizing officers from related departments, food safety supervisors or volunteers.