Shanghai’s economy has seen stable growth in the first half, and the city will continue to make improving the quality of growth the priority in the second half, Mayor Ying Yong said during a meeting hosted by the Shanghai People’s Congress on Monday.
“Shanghai has seen stable economic growth in the first half, which was in line with our expectations,” said Ying. “We should recognize positive economic fundamentals and continue to improve the quality of growth.”
Shanghai’s economy expanded 5.9 percent from a year earlier in the first half, 0.2 percentage points faster than in the first quarter. The growth was led by the services sector, which grew 9.1 percent year on year, compared with the 8.8 percent increase in the first quarter. It was also 1.7 percentage points higher than that in the same period last year.
There was stronger growth in emerging industries. The economic output of biomedicine and new-energy vehicles rose 7.6 percent and 6.7 percent, respectively. Meanwhile, there were 246 new high-tech companies established in the city, up 2.7 percent from the end of last year.
“The key to sustain the city’s growth lies in making investors confident and policies effective,” Ying said. “Shanghai has embraced brand-new opportunities with the three missions becoming our strategic priority.”
The three missions, assigned by President Xi Jinping in November 2018, refers to the expansion of the China (Shanghai) Pilot Free Trade Zone, the launch of the STAR Market at the Shanghai Stock Exchange and integrated growth in the Yangtze River Delta region.
Ying said Shanghai is now gearing up to charter additional policies for the expanded free trade zone, with the goal of realizing reform and opening-up at a higher level and a stronger institutional innovation.
“The new zone should focus on more convenient trade and investment, making breakthroughs in easier business operation, commodity clearance, capital flow, talent management and information connection,” Ying said.
The start of trading shares on the STAR Market on Monday was “a remarkable move to merge the construction of Shanghai as a financial center and an innovation center for science and technology,” Ying said.
For integrated growth of the Yangtze River Delta region, Ying said Shanghai will continue to collaborate with neighboring cities to carry out coordinated and integrated growth.
Shanghai will also make great efforts in hosting the second China International Import Expo. And the city will continue to improve garbage sorting and river management in the second half, Ying said.