The Future is in Innovation

The Future is in Innovation

Pudong will pursue an innovation-driven, much more balanced, green and high-quality economy in the new year, government officials say.

These sustainable development goals kick off the second year of the 13th five-year plan.

This year, the focus is on innovation, quality and efficiency — replacing investment speed and scale to play lead roles in Pudong’s development.

And the government will no longer be the only player in guiding the economy. The community will play a much more active role.

Highlights of the year will be the further development of the China (Shanghai) Pilot Free Trade Zone, the science technology innovation center, structural reform of the supply side, the “Four Centers,” and the integrated development of urban and rural areas as well as the comprehensive improvement of the regional environment.

Weng Zuliang, Party secretary of Pudong, said the area’s two national strategic tasks are building the Shanghai FTZ and the science technology innovation center.

“To adapt to the changes and realize new breakthroughs, we need to think more about the transformation of the development model,” Weng said.

He also pointed out that the fifth Plenary Session of the 18th CPC Central Committee put forward five development ideas of “innovation, coordination, green development, opening-up and sharing.”

Weng says Pudong faces both opportunities and challenges. The challenges include limited land, a fragile environment and the widening gap between the demand and supply of housing, education and healthcare.

“Our tasks for the next stage are to improve the quality and efficiency of economic development, let urban development be more sustainable and livable and to lead the way in the transformation,” Weng said.

After more than two decades of development, Pudong is standing at a historical starting point to be a forerunner in leading the reform and opening-up of Shanghai and serving the broader national strategy.

The Shanghai FTZ in Pudong has carried out more than 100 institutional innovations, including creating a “negative list” specifying investment sectors that are off-limits to foreign investors, and allowing foreign firms to operate under the same investment rules as domestic ones.

Replicating these successes nationwide will greatly benefit foreign businesses, officials say.

Pudong’s Science and Technology Development Fund also chipped in 1.39 billion yuan (US$200 million) to support more than 10,000 projects in the construction of the science technology innovation center.

And companies in Pudong have enjoyed about 80 billion yuan in tax deductions, including for research and development.

At present, Pudong has 1,510 high-tech enterprises and 527 research and development institutions. Regional output reached 860 billion yuan last year, an average growth of 9.3 percent year on year.
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