Shanghai sees stable steps forward in finance, technology

Shanghai has kept stable economic growth this year with structure improving as the city deepens pursuit of excellence in financial services and technology innovation.
Zhang Suoqing / SHINE

A bird's eye view of Shanghai's pilot free trade zone

Shanghai has kept stable economic growth this year with structure improving as the city deepens pursuit of excellence in financial services and technology innovation.

Latest available data showed the city’s GDP grew by a better-than-expected 6.9 percent annually to 1.39 trillion yuan (US$205.6 billion) in the first half as the industrial sector expanded to offset weaker real estate activities, according to Shanghai Statistics Bureau.

The pace was 0.2 percentage points faster than the same period of last year and the same as the national average.

“Shanghai’s economic conditions in the first half were generally stable and better than expected,” said Tang Huihao, deputy director of the bureau. “The stable trend is lasting (and) the progress is deepening.”

The data showed that value-added output of information technology, logistics, and financial services grew by double digits while output from the real estate industry shed 17.5 percent year on year.

That is in line with Shanghai’s goal to become an international financial center and technology innovation center in this decade and the next.

In April, Shanghai issued a guideline highlighting 33 measures for foreign investors. They include widening market entry, expanding support policies, creating an equal business environment, and lifting standards of government services for foreign investment companies. 

Greater foreign participation will be allowed in banking, securities, fund management, futures and insurance, while gradual opening-up will be promoted in telecommunications, the Internet, culture, education, and transport industries, the guideline said.

In July, the Shanghai government set deepening reforms in the free trade zone and accelerating construction of a technology and innovation center among major tasks for the second half of the year.

Reforms in the free trade zone will be carried out to serve China’s Belt and Road Initiative and Shanghai’s financial and technology visions, the government report said.


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