Mayor confident of city's economic growth in 2021

Huang Yixuan
Shanghai has set its goals for economic development in 2021, with the city's gross domestic product expected to grow by more than 6 percent.
Huang Yixuan

Shanghai has set its goals for economic development in 2021, with the city's gross domestic product expected to grow by more than 6 percent, according to the city's Report on the Work of the Government.

"This is a year of special importance in the course of our country’s modernization," Shanghai Mayor Gong Zheng pointed out at the Fifth Session of the 15th Shanghai People's Congress on Sunday.

"We should guarantee a sustained and sound economic development and a stable society, to ensure a good start to the 14th Five-Year Plan and celebrate the 100th anniversary of the founding of the Communist Party of China."

Gong proposed targets for this year's economic development, aiming to post 6 percent GDP growth. The revenue in the general budget is expected to rise 3 percent from last year, and overall expenditure on research and development will account for around 4.1 percent of the city's GDP, as estimated.

Surveyed urban unemployment rates, meanwhile, are targeted at below 5 percent. The city also expects per capita disposable income of residents to rise in tandem with economic growth, and the CPI to increase at around 2.5 percent in 2021.

Gong noted the importance of advancing high-quality reform and opening up in Pudong New Area and the "three new strategic tasks" on all fronts. 

The city will focus on building a strategic link connecting the domestic loop with international markets, to actively serve and integrate into the new new development pattern of "dual circulation".

With the aim of boosting connectivity, Shanghai will formulate a new three-year action plan on the integrated development of the Yangtze River Delta. 

It will also build a new platform for connecting international and domestic markets, continue to amplify the spillover effects of the China International Import Expo, and further implement the overall plan for building Hongqiao area into an international open hub. 

A national technological innovation center will be set up in the Yangtze River Delta, to enhance the internal momentum of domestic circulation.

The city will focus on expanding domestic demand and demand-side management. 

"We will accelerate the development of Shanghai as an international consumer center, implement the action plan on upgrading consumption, continue to launch promotion campaigns such as the Double Five Shopping Festival to boost consumption, and vigorously develop new types of consumption including online consumption, experiential consumption and health spending," Gong said.

The city will accelerate the implementation of new policies on duty-free shops, build a number of smart shopping demonstration scenes and commercial consumer experience centers.

Gong also noted that Shanghai will give full play to the high-quality development of Pudong's reform and opening up, practically implementing a series of innovative and pioneer measures on expanding openness.

Pilot projects on comprehensive reform will be carried out, and market access reforms will be deepened such as the "one integrated license" policy.

It will also explore the development of offshore yuan transactions, cross-border trade settlement and overseas financing services in Pudong.

Another highlight is to promote the city's digital transformation and accelerate the construction of an international digital center with global influence.

Shanghai will further expedite the development of the online new economy and focus on key areas such as smart factories, industrial Internet and e-commerce platforms. 

It plans to foster an industrial cluster of new-generation Internet industries, and establish a batch of online new economic ecological parks as well as pilot areas for innovative development of the digital economy.

In one case, a number of new infrastructure projects will be launched, setting up 8,000 new 5G outdoor base stations, according to the report.

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