Shanghai highlights innovation to boost international competitiveness

Shen Mengdan
Shanghai to focus on innovation in areas such as new productivity while developing its "five centers" and accelerate the building of a modern socialist city with global influence.
Shen Mengdan
Shanghai highlights innovation to boost international competitiveness
State Council Information Office

Shanghai officials give a briefing on the city's development during a press conference at the State Council Information Office in Beijing on Thursday.

Shanghai will focus on innovation in areas such as new productivity during the development of its "five centers" and accelerate the building of a modern socialist international metropolis with global influence, city officials told a press conference at the State Council Information Office on Thursday.

Shanghai is sparing no efforts in developing the "five centers," namely, an international economic center, financial center, trade center, shipping center, and science and technology innovation center, which is a path to achieve the city's high-quality development, Mayor Gong Zheng said in Beijing.

The city's core competitiveness has improved significantly since this strategy was officially launched in 2017, according to Gong, with its gross domestic product hitting 4.72 trillion yuan (US$653 billion) last year, ranking among the top cities in the world.

The amount of transactions in Shanghai's financial market last year reached a new high of more than 330 trillion yuan, with 1,771 financial institutions licensed in the city by the end of 2023, including 548 foreign-funded ones.

Furthermore, the trade volume at Shanghai ports reached a record high of 10.7 trillion yuan last year, accounting for 3.6 percent of the total global trade volume, continuing to rank first among cities worldwide. The container throughput reached 49.16 million TEUs (Twenty-Foot Equivalent Units), ranking first in the world for 14 consecutive years.

The city's research and development expenditure increased to about 4.4 percent of its GDP, and Shanghai was listed among the world's top five science and technology clusters for the first time last year by the World Intellectual Property Organization, Gong revealed.

The number of high-value invention patents per 10,000 people hit a new high of 50.2.

He said that Shanghai is pursuing high-quality development by boosting new quality productive forces.

Twenty major scientific and technological infrastructures have been built or planned in Shanghai, with several high-level research institutes established.

The city now has more than 800,000 talents in its three pillar industries, namely, integrated circuits, biomedicine and artificial intelligence.

"Shanghai will promote the integration of advanced manufacturing and modern service industries, accelerating the digital transformation and green low-carbon transformation of all sectors, especially traditional industries," Gong noted.

Shanghai will also support four new "tracks" – digital economy, green and low-carbon economy, metaverse and intelligent terminals – as well as five "future industries" – future health, future intelligence, future energy, future space, and future materials, he added.

With seven consecutive editions of action plans introduced to optimize the business environment, Shanghai registered a record actual utilization of foreign investment totaling US$24 billion in 2023, with the accumulative amount exceeding US$350 billion, Hua Yuan, vice mayor of Shanghai, told the same press conference.

Shanghai currently boasts 956 regional headquarters of multinational corporations and 561 foreign-funded R&D centers.

The city will also continue to hold a series of investment-promotion activities to support foreign-funded enterprises to invest in green development, digital transformation, science and technology innovation, and other key areas, said Hua.

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