Shanghai targets 8% growth each for merchandise sales and retail sales this year

City will continue to improve the business environment as well as consolidate and enhancing status as an international trade center.

Shanghai's merchandise sales are set to grow 8 percent this year, with retail sales to rise 8 percent and e-commerce to jump 20 percent, the Shanghai Commission of Commerce said.

The city set the same 8 percent year-on-year target for merchandise sales and retail sales this year.

E-commerce is expected to soar 20 percent, with online transactions exceeding 1 trillion yuan (US$ 160 billion) this year. The import and export of goods and services are expected to grow 5 percent each.

In 2017, the city's merchandise trade rose 12 percent year on year to 11.3 trillion yuan, 4.1 percentage points faster than 2016, the commission said.

Shanghai ranked first in China for retail sales at 1.2 trillion yuan, up 8.1 percent yearly, with the growth pace 0.1 percentage point faster than 2016's.

E-commerce transactions soared 21 percent annually to exceed 2.4 trillion yuan last year, and online shopping jumped 31 percent to 734 billion yuan.

"Shanghai will continue to improve the business environment and emphasizes consolidating and enhancing our status as an international trade center," said Shang Yuying, director of the commission.

Shanghai is also focusing on developing a legalized, international and convenient business environment, she added.

The commission plans to promote the liberalization measures which have been trialed in the free trade zone for over a year to the whole city.

Also, city officials plan to visit headquarters of foreign-owned companies to publicize Shanghai's investment environment and enhance foreign investors' confidence in the city.

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