Huge growth in global influence planned for Pudong

Li Qian
Pudong will be built into a pioneer area for socialist modernization. By 2035, its development level and global competitiveness will make it one of the top regions in the world.
Li Qian

As a better Pudong is pictured, it's time for people to roll up their sleeves to make it happen.

Today, top minds shared ways to support high-level reform and opening-up of Pudong at a press conference held by the State Council Information Office, five days after China released a guideline to drive Pudong's quality growth.

According to the guideline, Pudong will be built into a pioneer area for socialist modernization. By 2035, its development level and international competitiveness will make it one of the top regions in the world. By 2050, it will become an area with great appeal, creativity, competitiveness and global influence.

In the mind of Pudong's Party Secretary Weng Zuliang, people living in Pudong will be brimming with a sense of belonging, happiness and security. 

"A future Pudong will become the best destination for global investment trade and entrepreneurship. Global goods, technologies, talent, data and capital will be allocated efficiently. New discoveries, inventions, startups and products will spring up," Weng said.

"A future Pudong will also become the best place to put the concept of a people-oriented city into practice. Everyone will have the chance to show themselves, take part in urban governance, enjoy a high quality of life, feel the warmth and have a sense of belonging and acceptance," he added.

Cong Liang, secretary-general of the National Development and Reform Commission, said Pudong should support the city to lead the integrated development of Yangtze River Delta, help to achieve a high level of self-reliance and self-improvement, and provide stronger institutional guarantees and better practices for the people-oriented concept.

Cong said the lack of self-developed key technologies is the biggest obstacle to the country's development.

"We can't beg or buy key technologies. We have to rely on ourselves," he said. "Pudong has natural advantages in terms of creating innovation. It is expected to be the pioneer and pacesetter in scientific and technological innovation, especially in frontier research for brain and quantum science, as well as in key fields such as high-end integrated circuit components and basic software."

He also stressed Pudong's leading role in institutional reform.

"China's reform has dived into the deep end, but there are still underlying institutional barriers. Pudong should explore new avenues to offer references," he said, giving examples that China will support Pudong in developing offshore yuan trading, cross-border trade settlement and overseas financing services.

Echoing his call, Shanghai Vice Mayor Chen Yin revealed some of the specific measures.

According to Chen, Pudong will explore a pilot commercial registration and confirmation system, deepen the reform of an integrated system involving matters of multiple affairs and carry out more intensive stress testing of institutional reform in the Shanghai Free Trade Zone and Lingang Special Area.

Sun Yuning, deputy head of the General Administration of Customs of China, pointed out the important role of special customs supervision areas in Pudong's high-level reform and opening up.

Since the 1990s, China has set five such areas in Pudong, including Waigaoqiao and Yangshan. In 2020, their total import and export value reached 1.1 trillion yuan (US$170 billion), accounting for 53 percent of Pudong's total and 32 percent of Shanghai's, Sun said.

Chen said Pudong will also accelerate the construction of the Zhangjiang Comprehensive National Science Center, and enhance its influence as part of its efforts to build a world-class cluster of major scientific facilities. It will also establish state-level innovation bases in key fields such as integrated circuits, biomedicine, artificial intelligence and aviation and aerospace.

In addition, Pudong will strengthen the strategic links of the Lujiazui Financial District, Zhangjiang Science City, Lingang Special Area and other major regions. it will also work with the Yangtze River Delta to co-build a shipping hub with global influence, public health emergency management system and capital market service base, Chen said.

According to Weng, talent plays a very important role. Today, Pudong has 1.55 million professionals, and it will explore more favorable policies to attract more talent, including foreigners. 

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