High-quality growth to grace future development in Shanghai and beyond

Huang Yixuan
At the ongoing Two Sessions in Shanghai, high-quality growth is a catch phrase among lawmakers and political advisers.
Huang Yixuan

Editor's note:

At the ongoing Two Sessions in Shanghai, high-quality growth is a catch phrase among lawmakers and political advisers – as it is a guidance to direct a new development format in China.

The Yangtze River Delta region, with Shanghai at the core and supported by the neighboring provinces of Jiangsu, Zhejiang and Anhui, has been a model of high-quality growth. The region is recognized as having the most robust economy, greatest openness and strongest innovation capability of any region in China.

With a shared culture, a talented and educated workforce, established companies in many key industries and a growing research and development capability, the YRD region offers a natural base for collaboration.

Accelerated pace of growth in the region has been seen in the past three years after further integration in the region was adopted as a national strategy in 2018. What has happened and what is likely to take place next is worth a close study.

High-quality growth to grace future development in Shanghai and beyond

A bird's-eye view of the Hongqiao International Central Business District

Hongqiao International Central Business District – a hub to link all cities within the YDR region

Shanghai's Hongqiao area closed out 2021 with robust growth and is gunning for high-quality development at a faster pace this year.

At the beginning of 2022, the Hongqiao International Central Business District released its blueprint for the major tasks and goals of this year's development.

It will strive to achieve a year-on-year increase of over 25 percent in tax revenue, with major economic indicators growing faster than the city's average, according to Bao Bingzhang, executive deputy director of the Hongqiao International CBD administrative committee.

More than 50 corporate headquarters of various types are expected to open in the area this year, along with no less than 15 new organizations and associations connected to foreign businesses.

What's more, over 20 special activities will be held by the administrative committee to promote investment.

Covering a total of 151 square kilometers, the Hongqiao international CBD, Hongqiao's core area, is set to promote a headquarters economy, gather high-end businesses, optimize transportation-hub functions and create an innovative environment.

Looking back over the past year, the CBD saw steady progress in various economic indicators with a growth rate above the city's average.

As highlighted, tax revenue, fixed asset investment and total retail sales of social consumer goods all posted double-digit growth.

Bao also noted Hongqiao is to become an international urban area and an open hub with improved ecology that will enhance the integrated development of the Yangtze River Delta region.

Of the 29 key policies and measures stated in an overall plan for the area, 25 have been practically put into effect so far, proof of great efforts made by the authorities.

Vincent Lo, chairman of Hong Kong-based real estate development firm Shui On Group, said Hongqiao has a big advantage thanks to its position as a focal point of the Yangtze River Delta region to attract international businesses.

"The Hongqiao hub will become a first choice for overseas companies and many will set up their headquarters here," he said. "To reach this goal, the area needs to further detail its planning and enhance the quality of its services."

Facing 2022, the CBD aims to speed up the construction of a new development pattern, give full play to its role as the "core" of the Hongqiao area and develop into a first-class international CBD.

New regulations, plans and guidelines will be formulated to lead the way for the area's high-quality development.

"We will push forward the legislative work of the regulations on promoting the development of Hongqiao international CBD, which will provide a legal guarantee for implementation of the Overall Plan," Bao said. "We are also working on schemes with an overview of separate sub-areas within this 151-square-kilometer area, giving an optimized outline for the spatial planning of the business district to achieve 'governing the whole area with one single blueprint.'"

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