A general plan to increase the size of the city’s pilot free trade zone has been worked out, Li Qiang, Party Secretary of Shanghai said on Wednesday.
The national Ministry of Commerce and the Shanghai government are now working on details of the plan which will be submitted to the national government for consideration, after seeking opinions, Li said.
He was speaking at a press conference held in Beijing by delegates to the National People’s Congress from Shanghai.
Also, the plans and general guidelines for the integration of the Yangtze River Delta region as a national strategy are being worked on under the lead of the National Development and Reform Commission.
Opinions from national government departments and commissions as well as Zhejiang, Jiangsu and Anhui provinces and Shanghai are being heard.
In the meantime, the three provinces and Shanghai are working on a plan to construct a demonstration zone for integrated development of the region.
President Xi Jinping announced the above tasks for Shanghai, along with the formation of the science and technology innovation board and the launch of a pilot registration system on the Shanghai Stock Exchange during the first China International Import Expo that was held in Shanghai in November last year.
“These are demonstrations of a clear attitude and staunch resolution that China will keep opening itself up to the world and reforming the economy,” Li said.
The expansion of the free trade zone will come with innovations to make it more influential and competitive in the global market.
During the integration of the Yangtze River Delta region, reforms will be experimented with, prior to them going national.
“Shanghai opens up to the world through the Pudong New Area and especially the free trade zone, and also to the rest of the country through the future demonstration zone for integrated development of the Yangtze River Delta region,” Li said.
Meanwhile, the establishment of the science and technology innovation board and a pilot registration system is expected to make the capital market better serve innovative companies.
In Pudong, financial services have become the most influential business sector which generated nearly 300 billion yuan (US$45 billion) of added value for the new area last year.
This accounted for more than 28 percent of the regional GDP and contributed more than half of added value to the city.
Pudong has agglomerated 80 percent of Shanghai’s financial infrastructure facilities, said Hang Yingwei, director of Pudong New Area and a deputy to the National People’s Congress.
“Pudong is home to 60 percent of Shanghai’s licensed financial institutes, while nine of the 10 largest asset management institutions around the world have set up their headquarters in Lujiazui,” Hang added.
Pudong also aims to become a global science and technology innovation center.
One fourth of Shanghai’s technology companies are based in Pudong.
Among the companies that integrate finance and science and technology, are two household names － Alipay and UnionPay, Hang said.
He also revealed Pudong’s strategy to promote the integrated development of Lujiazui Financial City and Zhangjiang Science City.
This includes the listing of more high-growth local technology companies on the science and technology innovation board as well as the establishment of a supply center to serve the capital market of Yangtze River Delta region.
Hang also disclosed that Pudong will establish an innovation fund to raise the functional level of financial services to the real economy. It will also build China’s first incubator and accelerator of financial technology to promote innovation and facilitate development in the sector.
Chen Mingbo, vice secretary general of Shanghai government and director of the Shanghai Economy and Information Technology Commission, said more investments in integrated circuits, bio-medicine and high-end equipment are expected this year.
It is expected that construction of 360 projects in the three areas with investment of more than 330 billion yuan will start this year. More than 1,800 key industrial projects are under construction with investment of 786 billion yuan in total, he said.
He said the construction of the Tesla Gigafactory 3, which is the largest foreign investment in Shanghai in the manufacturing sector, is well underway.
Its assembly work area is expected to be completed in May, and part of its production line will commence by the end of this year.
“We believe that we will witness more important international projects in Shanghai, and we welcome more global innovators to come to Shanghai by offering good and efficient services,” Chen said.