Stable growth, faster reform in 2017

Updated 2016-12-21 10:02:28 Shanghai Daily

Shanghai will stabilize its economic growth and further reduce its reliance on investment, property, and labor-intensive and polluting industries next year, Party Secretary Han Zheng said yesterday.

The city will continue to push forward reform and innovation, focusing on better implementation of trials in the Shanghai free trade zone and the construction of an innovation center for science and technology with global reach, Han told a meeting of the Party's Shanghai committee.

"Shanghai should further improve its growth quality while maintaining growth momentum against the background of the 'new normal' status," Han said. "Next year will be core for us to accelerate reforms and support innovation."

Shanghai's gross domestic product is expected to expand by around 6.7 percent this year, compared to the pace of 6.9 percent in 2015, according to a statement at the meeting. Fiscal revenue may stabilize at an increase of 16 percent year on year, and the services industry is likely to account for more than 70 percent of total economic output, up from 67.8 percent last year.

The city will continue its supply-side reform next year, determined to raise efficiency and improve growth quality, Han said. This year, Shanghai launched 1,100 projects to tackle excess manufacturing capacity, issued a guideline on the upgrading of factories, and encouraged the growth of industries such as new energy and high-end equipment manufacturing.

Han said the Shanghai free trade zone, established three years ago, will continue to be a major base for key financial reforms as it matures, and the implementation of various trials will be the focus next year.

The zone will further open up to industries including financial services, accounting and auditing, culture and education, as well as value-added telecommunications, according to the statement. It also plans to map out rules for offshore tax services, while strengthening coordinated and systemic growth with better management.

At present, there are more than 40,000 registered companies in the zone, with over 60,000 free trade accounts helping facilitate bilateral trade and investment.

To support innovation in science and technology, Shanghai will accelerate the launch of several important projects in areas such as semiconductors, brain science, laser and medical services next year, and further encourage collaborations among academic institutions, corporations and communities. The city will also monitor the implementation of new policies designed to better attract and retain professionals, the statement said.

Foreign investment will continue to be important in the city's growth. By the end of November, 576 multinational companies had set up regional headquarters in Shanghai, together with 410 foreign-invested research and development centers. The city will also actively get involved in the country's "One Belt, One Road" initiative and its strategy of better developing the Yangtze River Delta region.

To construct a better city, Shanghai will strive to control the number of its permanent residents, properly manage the use of land, protect the environment and improve social security next year.

This year, Shanghai tore down more than 6.67 million square meters of illegal constructions and launched a crackdown on traffic offenses and fireworks. The city's PM2.5 density reduced 13.7 percent compared with a year earlier by December 15, according to the statement.

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