Mayor vows steady growth

By Lu Chen Source:Global Times Published: 2014-1-19 21:48:01

Wang Liqin (middle), a former Chinese table tennis world champion, and other members of the Shanghai Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC) attend the first day of this year's meeting Saturday. The annual Shanghai CPPCC meeting runs until Wednesday. The Shanghai Municipal People's Congress will run until Thursday. Photo: Cai Xianmin/GT

Shanghai's gross domestic product (GDP) is expected to grow by 7.5 percent in 2014, maintaining steady growth with "better quality and higher efficiency," the city's mayor said Sunday at the opening of this year's Shanghai Municipal People's Congress.

The city's GDP grew by 7.7 percent year-on-year in 2013, and fiscal revenue increased by 9.8 percent, said Shanghai Mayor Yang Xiong. The city's consumer price index (CPI) grew by 2.3 percent.

The per capita disposable income of urban and rural households last year grew by 9.1 percent and 10.4 percent year-on-year to 43,851 yuan ($7,248) and 19,208 yuan per annum respectively, Yang said.

Amid a complex global economic climate, Shanghai will pursue "innovation-driven" growth and economic transformation.

"Promoting reform and opening up is the only way to achieve economic transformation and enhancement," Yang said while presenting his report. "We will make an all-out effort to build the pilot free trade zone."

The government plans to innovate to establish an institutional framework that meets international trade and investment standards.

It will implement pilot reforms, including cross-border RMB settlement, interest rate liberalization and foreign exchange management to help the financial sector open up.

The government will also develop regulations to improve the legal environment for the free trade zone, such as an integrated IPR protection mechanism for patents, trademarks and copyrights, Yang said.

Yang said the government will also implement a mechanism for national security review, anti-monopoly investigations, and an annual business reporting and disclosure system. Regulatory information will also be shared among government departments.

Nearly 40 foreign consular officials joined the 868 Shanghai Municipal People's Congress delegates in attendance for the mayor's report.

Robert Griffiths, Consul General of US Consulate General Shanghai, said he was most interested in what he could glean about how the government is managed.

"I am interested in how the city's government runs itself and how transparent it is when I am listening to the government report delivered by the mayor," said Griffiths, who has listened to the annual reports of many mayors since the 1990s.

He told the Global Times that the government was becoming more transparent by showing its willingness to reveal more information and review its budget.

The Shanghai Municipal Government's Additional Goals for 2014

Extend the city's subway system by 548 kilometers. Continue construction of lines 13 and 16 and begin building Line 14, Line 17 and the extension of Line 5.

Help 10,000 people start their own businesses and create 500,000 job opportunities.

Create 5,000 new beds at senior care facilities. Cooperate with social units to provide at-home care for 290,000 seniors.

Demolish 550,000 square meters of old homes in the center of the city. Complete construction of 55,000 affordable housing units for low-income and relocated families.

Cut the personnel in municipal-level departments by 10 percent. Reassign more officials to work in district-, township- and community-level departments.

Create 10 million square meters of new green space.

Posted in: Society, Metro Shanghai

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