Software next step in integration

Wang Yanlin
Forum on developing the Yangtze River Delta region attended by senior executives of multinationals highlights integration of fiscal spending, free movement and public services.
Wang Yanlin

Infrastructure integration has been in good shape in the Yangtze River Delta region, while the next step is the acceleration of integration in software such as government services to unlock the growth vitality in the region, participants at a forum were told on Thursday.

“We can see great efforts have been made to improve regional integration in areas like transportation and 5G construction,” Zhu Hui, managing director and partner of Boston Consulting Group, said at the 2019 Shanghai International Think Tank Summit hosted by the Development Research Center of the Shanghai government.

Senior executives of multinational companies were among those in attendance. 

“While such integration in hardware has entered a fast lane since this national strategy was introduced a year ago, we need to accelerate integration at a higher level like fiscal spending, free movement of talent and even some public services like health care and education,“ Zhu said.

There are still notable differences in growth stages among cities in the Yangtze River Delta as well as overlapping development priorities, Zhu said. For example, the GDP per capita in Shanghai is three times that of Anhui Province, and in the 13th Five-Year (2016-2020) Plan, 26 cities in the region made information technology, equipment and automotive their pillar industries.

Alex Xu, global senior partner and vice president of Roland Berger China, said the Yangtze River Delta region could learn from other industry clusters to build up a “super cluster.”

“The delta can become a cluster without parallel if it can feed the differentiated demand of industries in traditional and high-tech sectors,” Xu said. “That needs a thoughtful design and fine coordination, while we need a good growth map in the first place.”

Speakers from Deloitte, Cushman & Wakefield, McKinsey and KPMG, also shared their views under the theme “Integration of the Yangtze River Delta for High-quality Development.”

The forum was held in tandem with the announcement of an outline of development of the delta on Sunday.

The outline, issued by Party's Central Committee and the State Council, said the region has strategic significance in the country's modernization and further opening-up, which makes its regional integration crucial for leading the country's high-quality development and building a modern economic system.

It specified tasks that included establishing a coordinated innovative industry system, enhancing connectivity of infrastructure, strengthening environmental protection and advancing public services, in  the 358,000-square-kilometer expanse that encompasses Shanghai and the provinces of Jiangsu, Zhejiang, Anhui.

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