Moderate growth to revitalize Shanghai
Updated: 2013-03-07 07:38
By He Wei (China Daily)
A moderate economic growth rate will help Shanghai adjust its economic structure, enhance production efficiency and ensure a stable employment rate, the city's mayor said on Wednesday.
Shanghai's slowing gross domestic product growth rate reflects an ongoing shift to make the service sector a defining priority, a strategy which has started to pay dividends, Yang Xiong, mayor of Shanghai and an NPC deputy, said during the first session of the 12th National People's Congress.
"The easing of Shanghai's economic output, which grew 7.5 percent in 2012, suggested the dwindling role GDP has played in evaluating the health of the economy," Yang said, adding that the city aims to maintain this growth rate in 2013.
Meanwhile, GDP composition has been greatly optimized, he noted. Shanghai's service sector, including tourism, finance and telecommunications, expanded to 1.2 trillion yuan ($192.8 billion) in 2012, up 10.6 percent year-on-year.
The figure has, for the first time, accounted for more than 60 percent of Shanghai's total economic output, reflecting the increasing pace of its transformation into a value-added service-oriented economy.
The city has undergone profound changes following the call to build it into an international financial center by 2020, which has encouraged industrial companies to move to nearby cities and even interior regions due to economic and environmental concerns.
Shanghai's concerted efforts in economic restructuring have made it an example for the rest of China in terms of economic rebalancing, said He Wenbo, general manager of Baoshan Iron and Steel Co.
The country's leading steelmaker will move 30 percent of its capacity out of Shanghai in the coming five years, as manufacturing plays a diminishing role in the city's economy, said He, a national legislator from Shanghai.
Ge Junjie, vice-president of Bright Food Group Co and an NPC deputy, said continued policy support and technical upgrading are essential for the city's traditional industries.
"The majority of multinational corporations that succeeded in the Chinese market are from traditional sectors. A robust real economy can effectively safeguard us from financial turbulence amid uncertain economic conditions," Ge said.