Pudong's industrial strength
Pudong’s industrial output grew by 8.6 percent to 464.7 billion yuan (US$69.2 billion) in the first half of the tax year amid the double digits growth in general public budget revenue, gross industrial output, foreign trade, total merchandise sales and foreign investment.
The new area reported a year-on-year increase of 12.8 percent in industrial production, the highest around Shanghai. Car manufacturing and production of electronic information products played major roles to support the growth. More than 343,700 cars rolled off production lines in Pudong in the first half, up 40.8 percent from a year ago and a year-on-year increase of 44.1 percent in output.
During the same period, more than 16.57 million mobile phones were produced, up 20.2 percent year-on-year and contributed 16.2 percent of growth in total output from a year ago.
Apart from the two business sectors, innovation is becoming a new driving force for regional development. High-tech enterprises in the new area achieved a gross output of 138.3 billion yuan in the first half of the year, up 16.6 percent from a year ago and 3.8 percentage points higher than the average level of the new area.
Among which, electronic and telecommunications equipment manufacturing rose 19.2 percent annually; computer and office equipment manufacturing reported year-on-year growth of 13.5 percent. For medical equipment and instrument manufacturing and pharmaceutical manufacturing, the growth rate was 11.6 percent and 10.7 percent respectively.
The development of strategic emerging industries is also faster than the city’s average. Strategic emerging industries in the new area reported 183.1 billion yuan of output in the first half, up 9.6 percent from a year ago and with the growth rate 2.8 percentage points higher than the city’s average.
Biomedicine reported 22.8 billion yuan of output, an increase of 10.9 percent. The next generation information technology contributed 96 billion yuan, a growth of 16 percent from the same period last year. The production of new energy vehicles reached 3.2 billion yuan, jumping 59.3 percent year-on-year.
Energy saving and environment protection reported 3.9 billion yuan of output, rising 20.5 percent from a year ago. Since the beginning of the year, a series of heavyweight projects such as the finished vehicle and technical innovation of SAIC General Motors, the Lingang base of the AVIC Commercial Aircraft Engine Co and Huawei’s 12-inch wafer production line have put into use, which ensure Pudong’s leading status in automation, aviation, electronic information industries.
Another major feature that Pudong’s industrial sector presented in the first half of the year was the increasing business confidence amid the good industrial and economical operation.
More than 38 percent of Pudong-based industrial enterprises were optimistic about the business operation in the second quarter.
Pudong Development and Reform Commission believed that the recovery of capacity utilization is the first cause. The average capacity utilization rate among industrial enterprises in the new area was 79.1 percent in the first half. Two thirds of the enterprises were with their capacity utilization rate higher than the average.
Another reason is that profits are improving. More than 20 percent of the enterprises in Pudong reported increasing returns, 8.2 percentage points higher than a year ago.
On the other hand, as the core area of Shanghai’s four international centers of economy, finance, trade and shipping, Pudong spearheads in scientific development, comprehensive financial and institutional reforms and building a sustainable business model.
The new area is now using the existing highest international standards as benchmark for its long term development. Earlier this year, Lujiazui Financial City signed an MOU with the United Kingdom Department for International Trade to strengthen cooperation in financial markets. Pudong authority wished to take the financial district of London as a reference to narrow the gap between Lujiazui and the world’s best performers.
Pilot Free Trade Zone
Moreover, the China (Shanghai) Pilot Free Trade Zone is moving from its initial experimental phase into more areas of economic and financial reform in its fourth year.
The Shanghai FTZ covers about one-tenth of the Pudong New Area, but has accounted for three-quarters of the area’s economic output since it was established in September 2013.
From January to May, the foreign investment in Shanghai FTZ rose 29.1 percent from a year ago, accounting for 41 percent of the total amount citywide.
Foreign trade in bonded areas surged 20.1 percent, accounting for 27.7 percent of the city’s total. As a test ground of the deepening reform, it has carried out 24 “missions” to help transform the city into an investment and financial hub for the “Belt and Road” initiative.
The 24 “missions” to accelerate reforms in the Free Trade Zone include: creating market access between domestic and foreign investment, strengthening links with the city’s construction of the innovation center of science and technology, streamlining and decentralizing administration and promoting innovation in international financial services.