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Shanghai's Pudong gets policy boost toward high-level reform, opening-up

Updated: Jul 21,2021 10:19    CGTN

Shanghai's Pudong New Area in East China is to be positioned as a "pioneer area for socialist modernization", recent guidelines jointly issued by the Communist Party of China Central Committee and the State Council revealed.

The guidelines were rolled out as China moves along with the "dual circulation" development strategy, which takes domestic development as the mainstay with domestic and international development reinforcing each other. They aim to foster Pudong's transformation into a central node of domestic circulation and a strategic link of the development paradigm, said Cong Liang, vice chairman of the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC), at a press conference on July 20.

They also demonstrate China's unswerving determination and confidence in deepening reform and opening-up, he said.

China has set up five strategic positions and two-phased goals for Pudong.

The area will be developed as a pioneer area for higher-level reform and opening-up, a benchmark of an era for independent innovation and development, a functional highland for global resource allocation, a guide for expanding domestic demand, and a model for modern urban governance, Cong said, adding that it is also expected to play a better role in leading and stimulating the integrated development of the Yangtze River Delta.

By 2035, the area will see its modernized economy comprehensively established, modern urban districts built, and modernized governance fully realized. Its urban development level and international competitiveness will be at the forefront globally.

By 2050, Pudong is expected to become an important urban area that is highly attractive, creative, competitive, and influential globally, as well as a model of urban governance.

Key points

China will build international economic, financial, trade, shipping, and tech-innovation centers in Shanghai, and the guidelines list 27 measures to be taken in Pudong, according to Cong.

Pudong will expand openness and take the lead in establishing a new system for an open economy that is compatible with prevailing international rules. The guidelines also address supporting the area in boosting domestic consumption and constructing an international consumption center.

Regarding financial opening-up in Pudong, China will innovate yuan-based financial products for the international market, explore yuan forex futures trading on the China Foreign Exchange Trade System, the interbank trading and foreign exchange division of China's central bank, and support the development of yuan offshore trading.

To improve shipping, China will help Pudong strengthen the connections between the different transport measures, explore integrated management systems and mechanisms and pilot the implementation of a ship registration and management system in line with international practices. The country will also expand the shipping network to include countries and regions along the Belt and Road.

A core area for international technological innovation will also be built in Pudong to increase the capabilities regarding independent innovation, strengthen the leading role of high-end industries and upgrade national industrial chains.

The guidelines said China will speed ​​up the research and development of key technologies in fields such as integrated circuits, life sciences, and artificial intelligence and accelerate the construction of national laboratories in Pudong.

In terms of trade, China will strengthen the integration of international high-standard rules for investment access, service trade, and digital trade in Pudong.

The door opens wider

The policy embodies China's determination to open up to the world and reflects the country's intention to align with international standards for high-level opening-up, Liu Chunsheng, associate professor from the Central University of Finance and Economics, told CGTN.

Through policies supporting opening-up, such as those for the Pudong New Area and the Hainan Free Trade Port, it can be noted that China's door to the world is opening wider and wider, and there is no retreat for the country, despite being confronted with deglobalization and trade protectionist trends, Liu said.

China should continue to lead globalization, promote trade liberalization and investment liberalization with practical actions, he said.

"These policies are a great stimulus for China to connect domestic and international markets and attract high-quality domestic and international resources," Liu said.