Shang­hai urged to lead Delta growth

China Daily (Canada) - - SHANGHAI - By WANG YING in Shang­hai

wang_y­ing@chi­nadaily. com.cn

In or­der to de­velop the Yangtze River Delta (YRD) re­gion into an eco­nomic belt, ex­perts say that key ci­ties in the re­gion, in­clud­ing Shang­hai, Nan­jing and Hangzhou, first need to es­tab­lish a more closeknit net­work.

Ex­perts be­lieve that Shang­hai, as the big­gest and most im­por­tant city in the re­gion, should lever­age its rep­u­ta­tion and in­flu­ence to boost co­op­er­a­tion with its neigh­bors to re­move phys­i­cal and fis­cal bound­aries stand­ing in the way of this goal.

Zhu Ronglin, a Yangtze River Delta re­gion de­vel­op­ment ex­pert from the De­vel­op­ment Re­search Cen­ter of State Coun­cil, said that a tight net­work can also help th­ese ci­ties ef­fec­tively uti­lize resources in ar­eas such as trans­porta­tion, com­mu­ni­ca­tion, in­dus­tries and man­age­ment.

“Shang­hai should fo­cus more on the high-end and cre­ative sec­tors, while the sur­round­ing ar­eas should de­velop their own spe­cial­ized in­dus­tries,” wrote Xiao Lin, di­rec­tor­gen­eral of the De­vel­op­ment Re­search Cen­ter of the Shang­hai Mu­nic­i­pal Peo­ple’s Gov­ern­ment, in an ar­ti­cle pub­lished on Shang­hai Se­cu­ri­ties News.

Chen Zhao, a pro­fes­sor from Fu­dan Univer­sity, who spe­cial­ized in re­gional eco­nomic stud­ies, also weighed in on the sit­u­a­tion, say­ing that a sort­ing process is in or­der and that “var­i­ous ci­ties will form their own cul­tural and in­dus­trial char­ac­ter­is­tics” as a re­sult.

The Yangtze River Delta is ex­pected to be­come China’s first suc­cess­ful megac­ity re­gion like Tokyo, New York and Paris, all of which have built a greater city belt sur­round­ing them to at­tract a large num­ber of multi­na­tional cor­po­ra­tions, head­quar­ters of in­ter­na­tional banks, large re­search and de­vel­op­ment in­sti­tutes with a di­ver­si­fied and rich tal­ent pool.

The re­gion takes up 1.1 per­cent of the na­tion’s to­tal land area, holds over 11 per­cent of China’s pop­u­la­tion, and con­trib­utes to about 20 per­cent of the coun­try’s Gross Do­mes­tic Prod­uct.

Through years of de­vel­op­ment, the Yangtze River Delta re­gion has es­tab­lished a pre­lim­i­nary trans­porta­tion net­work of roads, rail­ways, air­ways. Shang­hai’s Hongqiao trans­porta­tion hub is a good ex­am­ple of how the city has suc­cess­fully es­tab­lished a vi­tal traf­fic nexus for air, high-speed rail, subway and bus travel.

A re­port by the Shang­hai Morn­ing Post showed that the high-speed rail­way launched in 2010 be­tween Shang­hai and Nan­jing has short­ened the trav­el­ing time be­tween the two ci­ties from five hours to 90 min­utes, while a trip from Shang­hai to Hangzhou re­quires just an hour.

“As the leader of the re­gion, Shang­hai needs con­sis­tent in­dus­trial struc­ture op­ti­miza­tion. In ad­di­tion, pol­icy mak­ers should pro­mote fur­ther in­fras­truc­ture de­vel­op­ment by build­ing more rail­ways, high-speed roads and air­ports to re­duce time be­tween Shang­hai and ci­ties across the re­gion, ” added Xiao.

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