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Yang Xiong Attends 2014 Shanghai Municipal Leaders’ Meeting with Foreign Consular Corp in Shanghai

    “You are the witnesses to Shanghai’s development and also the envoys and promoters of the exchange and cooperation between Shanghai and various countries. I hope you will send more information back home so that the world will know more about Shanghai and that will enhance friendship between the Shanghai people and the peoples of other countries.” said Shanghai Mayor Yang Xiong at the 2014 Shanghai Municipal Leaders’ Meeting with Foreign Consular Corp in Shanghai on December 18. The mayor briefed the foreign consular officials on the city’s economic and social development and the building developments of the China (Shanghai) Pilot Free Trade Zone, and he also had frank interaction with the audience on the topics of green and environment-minded development of transportation, the FTZ building and innovation-driven development strategy.

    Yang Xiong said that since the beginning of this year, we have persisted in seeking steady progress, in reform and opening up and in innovation-driven development and economic transformation and upgrading, and have concentrated efforts on steadying growth, promoting reform, restructuring the economy, benefiting people’s livelihood, and avoiding risks. As a result, the economy has shown steady progress, reform and opening up have become more effective, city functions have been further strengthened, ecological environment has continued to be improved, the people’s living standards have been consistently raised, and the economic and social objectives set at the start of the year are expected to be fully attained.

    In the past year and more, the FTZ has all along drawn high attention at home and abroad. Yang Xiong went on to say that it has accomplished important periodic achievements in the establishment of basic institutional frameworks in line with the prevailing international investment and trade rules. The investment management system based on management by a negative list has been formulated. The trade supervision system prioritizing trade facilitation has been put into effective operation. The financial innovation system targeting the opening of financial service industry has been pushed forward in an orderly manner. And the in- and after-the-event supervision system with the transformation of governmental functions as the core has initially taken shape. “The FTZ building has driven reform and opening up and institutional innovation of the entire city, the effects of which will continue to manifest themselves. It will further release the city’s innovative vigor and development potential and thus enhance its competitive power.

    The consular officials are highly interested in the city’s green and environment-minded transportation development, to which Yang Xiong responded by saying that for a megacity like Shanghai, transportation poses an enormous challenge and test. We should achieve convenient transportation and green transportation and environmental protection all at the same time. At present, Shanghai has constructed a rather complete public transit system including rail transit and buses. The total length of rail lines in operation is expected to reach 800 km by 2020. We have unveiled a series of policy measures to popularize the use of new energy vehicles and planned to develop trams in new suburban districts.

    Talking about work priorities for next year, Yang Xiong said that the most important thing is to maintain steady economic growth and intensify reform and opening up. At the same time, we will firmly implement the innovation-driven development strategy and step up the building of a scientific and technological innovation center with a global reach. Also, we will, on the basis of adequate investigation, promote more vigorously reform and innovation, make efforts to break institutional bottlenecks, and increase exchange and cooperation with businesses, institutions of higher learning and science & technology institutions of other countries.

    Yang Xiong also interacted with the consular officials on topics including economic development trend, improvement of public service, more convenient international connectivity and expansion of cultural exchange.