Mayor lists what city needs to learn

Shanghai will promote a new round of reforms and opening-up, Mayor Ying Yong told the city's political advisers yesterday.

Shanghai will promote a new round of reforms and opening-up, Mayor Ying Yong told the city’s political advisers yesterday.

Ying said at a meeting of the Shanghai Committee of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference that the city government has worked out a plan with 10 special action programs to achieve that goal. The reforms would be in accordance with highest international standards.

“China has insisted on reform and opening-up as a basic national strategy for 40 years, and it has proven that opening-up brings development, while locking doors against the world will make us lag behind,” Ying said.

Openness is the largest advantage for Shanghai and “our economy has kept growing fast since the reform and opening-up policy was introduced, especially after the Pudong New Area embraced the strategy,” he said.

The construction of the free trade zone, exploration of setting up a free trade port, and accelerated construction of a new open economy system are among major measures adopted by Shanghai to open up wider.

“We’ve set our goal to build Shanghai as a global excellent city, then we have to see the gap between Shanghai and world excellent cities, such as New York, London, Paris and Tokyo,” he said. “We don’t have enough headquarters of international organizations and multinational corporations; we are not strong enough in global resource allocation; our city functions are not influential enough in the world. We have to learn from them in areas including multiculturalism, inclusiveness, internationalization and strength in technology, culture and industry.”

The business environment in Shanghai was among the best in China, with more than 80,000 foreign ventures, over 600 headquarters of MNCs and some 420 foreign invested research and development centers, Ying said, adding that Shanghai also had some difficulties to overcome to improve its business environment and accelerate construction of an open economy at a higher level.

Ying spoke of the need to deepen reform in government management and services by resolving enterprises’ difficulties in applying for certificates, reducing items that need administrative approval, reducing taxes on companies and promoting online services.

The city plans to build a Big Data management center, he said, enabling all government departments to share information.

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