Economic shift proposed for Shanghai's future
Updated: 2012-10-30 10:40
By Xu Taotao in Shanghai (China Daily)
Study calls for specialized centers to help city reach development goals
New research is suggesting a marked shift is needed in Shanghai's future priority industry sectors if the city is ever to achieve its goal of becoming one of the world's top international cities.
The study, from Shanghai-based Warton Economic Institute, said city officials need to change the city's previous strategy of building international centers, or its "Four Centers", for economy, trade, finance and shipping, and set new targets that add more, what it calls, "people-oriented elements".
Revealing the findings exclusively to China Daily, Shen Hanyao, the president of Warton, said four new centers need to be established, prioritizing the economy, science and education, culture and entertainment, and medical treatment and health.
"Promoting the all-round development of people, and building the 'Four New Centers', points to a restructuring and upgrading of the city for a new era," the report suggests.
But some of its key sectors are already reaching saturation point, and the city is running short of staff members in some key areas, the report warns.
It recommends that the city, along with its neighbors such as Wuxi (with per capita GDP of $17,000), Suzhou ($17,000) and Kunshan ($20,000) in Jiangsu province, need to switch their development focus from meeting basic material needs of its residents, to improving the overall quality of life, improving science, education and culture levels, and diversifying leisure and entertainment options.
The Four Centers idea takes into account the strategic repositioning of the city in an new era when many expect China will gradually replace the United States to become the world's largest economy, the report said.
Shen added that Shanghai's potential as a truly world force has already been noticed by a growing number of global business heavyweights.
The latest example is FedEx Express Corp, one of the world's largest express transportation companies, which announced plans together with the Shanghai Airport Authority recently to build a brand new international express and cargo hub at Shanghai Pudong International Airport.
Its arrival in Shanghai, along with cargo facilities already in place there run by global rivals DHL and UPS, make Pudong International the first airport to feature the presence of the world's three major logistics operators, said officials.
The new hub is expected to meet FedEx's requirements for 20 years and beyond.
However, Shen said that the city's development momentum is not encouraging under the current Four Centers economic blueprint.
Most of its key industries are already facing saturation point and staff levels in the culture, education and medical treatment sectors particularly are facing critical shortages.