Ex­perts look at Shang­hai in the next 30 years

China Daily (Canada) - - FRONT PAGE - By LI YANG in Shang­hai liyang@chi­nadaily.com.cn

The Shang­hai gov­ern­ment’s devel­op­ment re­search cen­ter, a main think tank for the mu­nic­i­pal gov­ern­ment, held three seminars on the city’s devel­op­ment in the next 30 years. Dozens of ex­perts from such fields as city con­struc­tion and gov­er­nance and man­age­ment sub­mit­ted pro­pos­als to the gov­ern­ment.

“To build Shang­hai into a global cen­ter city, the gov­ern­ment needs to at­tach more im­por­tance to its eco­nomic struc­ture than eco­nomic scale,” said Zhang Youwen, an eco­nomics re­searcher at the Shang­hai Academy of So­cial Sciences.

The key point of eco­nomic glob­al­iza­tion is trans­form­ing from trade lib­er­al­iza­tion to in­vest­ment lib­er­al­iza­tion, re­quir­ing coun­tries to open up their mar­kets and lift in­vest­ment con­trols, Zhang said. “Ba­si­cally, it is to pro­mote the free flow of pro­duc­tion fac­tors around the globe,” he ex­plained.

There are more than 400 bi­lat­eral in­vest­ment agree­ment ne­go­ti­a­tions in the world to­day, among which one-fourth in­volve China.

“The emerg­ing economies, with China as a rep­re­sen­ta­tive, ben­e­fit from this process. China’s open­ing-up re­quires Shang­hai to form a ma­ture mar­ket econ­omy, and have an ef­fi­cient and clean gov­ern­ment to at­tract more in­vest­ment, trade and re­search and devel­op­ment cen­ters of transna­tional en­ter­prises,” Zhang said.

Wang Xinkui, coun­cilor for Shang­hai’s mu­nic­i­pal gov­ern­ment, said: ``Shang­hai should oc­cupy the most valu­able link in the global in­dus­try and value chains. And Shang­hai should not ex­pand its ur­ban area, but im­prove the plan­ning of its cur­rent area, so as to make the city more liv­able.”

In the next 30 years, Shang­hai should pay more at­ten­tion to up­grad­ing its in­fra­struc­ture, es­pe­cially public trans­porta­tion fa­cil­i­ties, and pro­tect­ing the nat­u­ral en­vi­ron­ment, to make the city a bet­ter place to live, said Jia Kang, a fi­nance re­searcher at the Min­istry of Fi­nance. “Shang­hai should be a city with mod­ern in­fra­struc­ture, clean en­vi­ron­ment, fair mar­ket en­vi­ron­ment, and ma­ture city man­age­ment sys­tem based on laws.”

Shang­hai should at­tract more global tal­ents in re­search and devel­op­ment, as well as lower-end ser­vice in­dus­try job-tak­ers, sug­gested Lu Ming, pro­fes­sor of eco­nomics at Shang­hai-based Fu­dan Uni­ver­sity.

His stud­ies show in the big US cities the num­ber of higher-end ser­vice in­dus­try job­tak­ers gen­er­ally equals that of the lower-end ser­vice sec­tor em­ploy­ees.

Lu said: “The gov­ern­ment needs to in­crease its in­put to public ser­vices and let more peo­ple en­joy bet­ter med­i­cal care, ed­u­ca­tion, pen­sion and living con­di­tions, es­pe­cially for the mi­grant work­ers.”

A big chal­lenge for Shang­hai is risk man­age­ment, said Li Ruichang, pro­fes­sor of devel­op­ment stud­ies at Fu­dan Uni­ver­sity, af­ter men­tion­ing the stam­pede in the Bund on the last night of 2014 that killed 35 and in­jured nearly 50.

In the next 30 years, Shang­hai’s gov­ern­ment should pre­pare for nat­u­ral dis­as­ters such as ty­phoons and the ris­ing sea level, Li said. “Ter­ror­ist attack and ten­sions caused by wealth gap and con­flicts be­tween lo­cal res­i­dents and mi­grant work­ers are the un­con­ven­tional risks the city faces,” he said.

Li urged the city gov­ern­ment to draw lessons from Ja­panese cities in city man­age­ment and risk con­trol.

GAO ERQIANG / CHINA DAILY

Mir­gant work­ers

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