New proposals to drive consumption in the city
Members of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC) Shanghai Committee have proposed new ways for the city to increase consumption.
The proposals include refining the city's retail environment and commercial facilities, including nighttime shopping and leisure spaces.
The night economy and leisure activities are common in many districts, and retailers should partner with museums, art galleries, libraries and other cultural venues to attract more customers, according to Zhang Qi, a member of the Taiwan Democratic Self-Government League, one of the eight non-Communist parties.
"Many of these locations only offer sporadic events due to a lack of synergies with nearby cultural spaces, and there's unmet demand for relevant services and infrastructure," Zhang said.
Members of the city's business community proposed government agencies to work with food delivery services to lower commissions paid by restaurants and canteens to help tackle business downturns.
Shanghai political advisers An Liqing and Zhou Baochun suggested combining Shanghai-style traditional cultural activities with local shopping festivals.
Shanghai has seen a turnaround in consumption in the fourth quarter of 2020 after retail sales dropped 4.6 percent in the first nine months. For 2020 as a whole, Shanghai’s retail consumption increased 0.5 percent year on year despite the influence of the COVID-19 pandemic.
A survey by the Shanghai University of Finance and Economics also showed that consumer confidence in Shanghai rebounded in the fourth quarter with its consumer confidence index up by 0.2 points to 114.1, indicating people's positive attitude toward consumption.
“Local people remain positive toward the economic outlook in the city and around the country, which is reflected in the stable performance of our index," said Xu Guoxiang, director the university’s Applied Statistics Research Center.
Last year, a four-month shopping festival helped revitalize domestic consumption in the aftermath of the COVID-19 outbreak.
It was also recommended conducting lectures on cultures from different regions of the country as part of the education for people to enrich the meaning of consumption with more knowledge of traditional Chinese festival rituals.