Mayor Ying Yong talks about supply-side reform at Shanghai Party School

Development of Shanghai Pilot Free Trade Zone

Government officials should liberate their minds, dare to make breakthroughs and produce good policies and practices that can be copied by other places. They should make the FTZ a testing ground for reform and opening.First, set the highest standards for reforms; second, take lead to try out new policies; third, strengthen system integration; fourth, run stress tests beforehand; fifth, reforms should show Shanghai characteristics.

Construction of the global innovation center

Make efforts to build the city’s innovation capacity with a focus on Zhangjiang Comprehensive National Science Center. Create a functional platform for innovation, speed up the formation of clusters of innovative enterprises,and vigorously promote the mass movement in business creation and innovation.

Carry out system innovation in the science and technology sector with a focus on talent recruitment and cultivation, technology transfer and utilization, administrative innovation, financial service innovation, distribution of income from tech sales, intellectual property protection, market opening,andcultural sector innovation.

On February 7, Ying Yong, mayor and deputy Party secretary of Shanghai,spoke to Party secretaries and deputy secretaries from various districts who were attendinga training classat Shanghai Party School. He outlined the city’s tasks in economic and social development and urged officials at differentlevels to adhere to the guideline the Party Central Committeeadopted at the Central Economic Work Conference. He said officials should carry out tasks and supply-side reform strictly according to the guideline, accelerate the construction of Shanghai Pilot Free Trade Zone and the Global Innovation Cnter, continue to improve people’s livelihood, and contribute more to Shanghai’s innovation-driven economy and industrial transformation and upgrade.

XuZezhou, a Standing Committee member and the director of organization department of the CPC Shanghai Committee, chaired the meeting.

Ying Yong said the supply-side reform is a remedyprescribed by the Party Central Committee to fix problems arising from China’s economic transformation and change of growth pattern. It istheprimary task for a certain period of time from now on. This year is crucial for the supply-side reform. Officials should fully understand the importance of this reform which is designed to meet market needs, take measures to improve the quality of supplies and the quality of growth inthe real economy. To achieve this, they should continue the reform with an emphasis on cutting overcapacity, destocking, deleveraging, lowering business costs, and shoring up weak spots.“After three years of operation, Shanghai Pilot Free Trade Zone has made enormous progress andmet all the targets. A legal and administrative framework has taken shape there,”he said.

Ying said the establishment of Shanghai Pilot Free Trade Zone is the strategic decision of the Party Central Committee and the State Council to spearheadreform and opening. It is another great task Shanghai took from the central government after the establishment of Pudong New Area. With achievements made in the past three years, Shanghai officials must continue to think outside the box to solve problems, set a good example of system innovation, and provide more good policies and experiences for others to imitate. The FTZ is a testing ground for reform and openingmeasures.It must aim for the highest standards, comply with the world’s best investment and tradepractices, take the lead in system reform and innovation, integrate different systems,conduct stress tests before enacting newpolicies to minimize risks, and help build the international financial center and global innovation center with Shanghai characteristics.

Shanghai Pilot Free Trade Zone remains high on the municipal government’s reform agenda. The FTZ administration will concentrate efforts on five areas: 1. system integration;2. stress tests for new opening policies; 3.Changing the role of the governmentfor better governance; 4. serving the Belt and Road Initiative as a resource center; 5. Supplying reform and opening practices to the whole country.

“Turning Shanghai into a global innovation center is the requirement of President Xi Jinping. It represents the city’s switch to innovation-driven economy. Shanghai should make a breakthrough in this effort and set a good example for the country,” Ying said. With a clear goal and a series of policies, the city will take steps to accomplish two tasks: first, building its innovation capacity bypromoting Zhangjiang Comprehensive National Science Center, which is the core of the Global Innovation Center and an exchange platform for innovation, and supporting the mass movement for business creation and innovation; second,carrying out system reform and innovation in the science and technology sector,mainly in talent development, technology utilization, administrative reform, fiscal support innovation, innovation in tech income distributionand IP protection, innovation in opening,and innovation in the cultural sector to create an environment conducive to research and innovation. “System reform and innovation will be an ongoing, continuous effort.”The goal is to tap all the energy for innovation and mobilize the whole societyto turn Shanghai into an innovation center as well as a magnet for talents.

“While pushing for reform and economic transformation, we must let people see and benefit from the changes. Officials should take people-oriented approaches in their work, explore ways to improve people’s livelihood, and carry out life-improvement projects within their financial means,” Ying said. “Housing is a major issue concerning people’s life. Soaring home prices are bad for talentattraction, people’s career development, and Shanghai’s vitality, innovation and long-term development. Houses are for people to live in, not for speculation,” he added.

Ying also called for efforts to carry out comprehensive education reform, uphold socialism and moral principlesin education, and education modernization by law. At present, he said the focus should be put on reforming the college entrance exam system,compulsory education and higher education. He also mentioned medical reform and said Shanghai was ahead of others in this effort. “Last year,the central government chose Shanghaito pilot the comprehensive medical reform among provinces and municipalities.The city will take five years to set up an integrated medical system for urban and rural residents. The system will cover the whole population and operate sustainably. To meet this target, thecityneeds tochange its emphasis from hardware development to software development, from disease treatment to disease prevention, from traditional management to modern micromanagement. Shanghai will introduce a modern hospital management system and progressive diagnostic system, separate drug sales from medical services, and strengthen medical staff management.The city will continue to solve problems the public is most concerned about, such as elderly care, social security, and employment.

Ying Yong also discussed urban-rural integration and anti-corruption efforts with district officials at the meeting.