'New Era, Landmark and Miracle' of change

Yang Jian
A panel of experts was established at the annual North Bund Fortune and Culture Forum on November 29 to discuss a new round of development on the waterfront in Hongkou District.
Yang Jian
New Era, Landmark and Miracle of change
Ti Gong

Economists and industry insiders exchange views at the annual North Bund Fortune and Culture Forum.

A panel of experts was established at the annual North Bund Fortune and Culture Forum on November 29 to discuss a new round of development on the waterfront in Hongkou District.

The panel includes some of the nation’s top financial experts, such as Li Yang, chancellor of the National Institution for Finance & Development, and Lian Ping, head of the China Chief Economist Forum, as well as Shan Jixiang, former curator of the Palace Museum, and actress Xi Meijuan, chairwoman of the Shanghai Federation of Literary and Art.

The forum’s aim is to attract foreign asset management and public fund companies to create a “fintech ecological circle,” the district government announced on November 29.

‘New engine’ of growth

Approximately 1,800 financial companies from home and abroad are based in the North Bund region, which manages over 6 trillion yuan (US$912.6 billion) of assets, Wu Xinbao, Party secretary of Hongkou, told the 10th North Bund Fortune and Culture Forum.

The new-look North Bund, listed as a “new engine” of growth for Shanghai, will develop a financial service system along the Huangpu River, featuring asset management, private wealth management, equity investment, venture capital, hedge funds, securities trading and fintech firms.

More than 200 top-grade office buildings are being built in the 4-square-kilometer riverside region. Its development density will be on par with the London financial hub, which contributes nearly a third of London’s GPD, revealed Wu.

About 150 officials and experts attended the forum, now in its 10th consecutive year, to offer suggestions and guidance on the development of the region.

Shanghai Vice Mayor Wu Qing said the forum has become “a popular platform for the integration and innovative development of the financial and cultural industries.”

This year’s forum focused on the theme of “New Era, Landmark and Miracle,” and invited experts to share opinions on the city’s construction of a global asset management center, fintech center and the integration of capital and cultural industries, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Shanghai Fintech Park and Shanghai Fintech Alliance, American Express and Wanxiang Blockchain are just a few of many industrial giants based in Hongkou.

The North Bund is the birthplace of the Shanghai Stock Exchange, which came into existence in 1990. The place is expected to become a gathering site for fortune management companies and a highland for the fintech industry.

The riverside region will meet the same high standard set at Lingang Special Area of the China (Shanghai) Pilot Free Trade Zone and the Pudong New Area.

About 8.4 million square meters of new construction space has been planned for the waterfront.

‘Golden triangle’

Dozens of office buildings will be built to house around 100 headquarters of multinational firms, international organizations and functional institutes.

Along with the Lujiazui financial hub on the east bank of the Huangpu River across from the Bund, the North Bund forms downtown Shanghai’s “golden triangle.”

The North Bund is already home to more than 4,700 shipping-related companies, including COSCO Shipping, Shanghai International Port Group, the China Shipowners’ Association and Costa Cruises.

Shanghai Party Secretary Li Qiang said planning for the North Bund is related to Shanghai’s future development and a hotspot to drive a rapid economic growth.

The new round of planning on the North Bund is the city’s largest-scale project after the development of Pudong’s Lujiazui financial hub in 1990.

The district government has studied the development and planning of the world’s top-level central business districts, such as Canary Wharf in London, Manhattan in New York and Marunouchi in Tokyo.

The experience of other Huangpu River waterfronts, such as Lujiazui, Qiantan, or the New Bund, and the West Bund, has also been observed.

“Every building of the North Bund must be targeted at the world’s top standard,” Wu said.

The new development will consist of more than 200 office buildings, including dozens of top-level office towers capable of accommodating up to 100 multinational corporations’ headquarters, international organizations and functional institutes.

Buildings of top standard

Each building will be equipped with 5G, Internet of Things and big data technologies. The buildings will be furnished with air purification systems to control the PM2.5 particles below 30 microgram per cubic meter.

The structures will use solar power and other green technologies, controlled by a central power system. Second-floor corridors and underground paths and tunnels will connect the buildings with each other.

Workers will be able to reach their offices from the compartment of a subway train within 5 to 10 minutes from the underground garages.

In the future, a 480-meter landmark structure will be built for the North Bund to echo Lujiazui skyscrapers across the river.

The new building will become the tallest structure in Puxi and the third-tallest in the city, after the 632-meter Shanghai Tower and the 492-meter Shanghai World Financial Center in Lujiazui.

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