Shanghai underscores commitment to resilience, development
Shanghai said it welcomes new foreign investment and remains adamant on opening-up and high-quality development to enhance the city's urban functions.
"Shanghai's development is inextricably linked with the whole nation, and the whole world, and the city's value lies in providing functional services for all regions," Shanghai Party Secretary Li Qiang told the 32nd annual meeting of the International Business Leaders’ Advisory Council (IBLAC) for the Mayor of Shanghai.
Shanghai will deepen opening-up measures for both domestic and overseas markets and will spare no effort to strengthen resilience, improve basic safeguard and improve livelihoods.
"The novel coronavirus imposed travel restrictions, but it has not cut off the exchange of ideas, wise inputs and deep connection between IBLAC members and the city," Li said on Sunday.
Shanghai Mayor Gong Zheng said the city will fully absorb the expertise and insights put forward by guest speakers and the council members to turn them into measures to further promote Shanghai's development.
"We will continue to explore new methods of urban governance and enhance the city's resilience and at the same time continue to improve the business environment," he said.
"We hope more international business executives come and invest in Shanghai to embrace development opportunities," he added.
The annual "Chinese Cities of Opportunity" report, jointly published by PwC and the China Development and Research Foundation, has cited resilience as a key dimension this year.
Hong Kong, Shanghai, Macau, Guangzhou and Tianjin are the top five cities, which can be attributed to efforts made by respective local governments in relevant areas such as health care and disaster response, as well as their economic strengths and resources.
"Government policies, professional responses from urban planning participants, and public perceptions are all important factors that enhance the resilience of Shanghai," noted vice chairman of the council, Robert Moritz, global chairman of PwC.
China is the most advanced in the post-pandemic recovery according to the World Bank's latest projections for GDP growth this year.
The latest World Bank Asia-Pacific Region forecast in late September estimates 2 percent growth for 2020 and 7.9 percent in 2021.
Mohamed El-Erian, president of Queens’ College at Cambridge University, attributed the strong recovery to China's ability to strike a balance between health and the economy.
"It is also because of the resilience and agility that have been built on the back of China's multi-year efforts to restructure the economy, and to improve the regional architecture," he said at the keynote speech.
To maintain the momentum, he suggests China and other Asian nations accelerate the restructuring of their economic development to rely more on domestic sources of growth, rely more on regional growth and rely less on growth from advanced economies.
"Developing a long-term city resilience strategy that integrates existing frameworks will enhance the urban resilience of Shanghai," Merlin Swire, chief executive officer of John Swire & Sons.
"This can be supported through partnerships with the private sector, participation in the Global City Resilience Network, and through direct engagement with other cities to learn from their experiences," he noted.
Chief Executive Officer of Roche Group Severin Schwan highlighted the importance for Shanghai to capture the emerging opportunities regarding health-care data.
"We look forward to leveraging global experience and successful cases in integrating and connecting high-quality health-care data to support Shanghai in building a stronger health-care ecosystem on the backbone of data," he noted.
Koichi Miyata, advisor at Sumitomo Mitsui Financial Group, drew upon past instances of urban resilience enhancement in Japan to propose the creation of a new-energy system which combines solar power with the power storage capabilities of electronic vehicles to enhance Shanghai's urban autonomy, which will in turn enhance the city's resilience.