Quan Heng: Pudong as a leader in transforming and upgrading the city's functional centers

Quan Heng, Secretary of the Leading Party Members'Group & Executive Vice Chairman of Shanghai Federation of Social Science Associations

Among the achievements made by Pudong in its development and opening up for the past three decades plus, what is most worthy of in-depth investigation is its leading role in transforming and upgrading the city's functional centers. When the concept of developing Pudong was put forward and demonstrated in the early 1980s, as a local development strategy, it was developed around optimizing and enhancing the urban functions of Shanghai, especially for the purpose of enhancing the comprehensive service functions of the central city. By the end of the 1980s, the strategic positioning of Pudong’s development and opening up was clarified, not only to relieve downtown Shanghai of its pressures in industrial load, population density, and spatial confinement, but also to act as an important part of the urban development strategy, focusing on improving Shanghai's urban development functions.

The development and opening up of Pudong is a process of continuously promoting the construction of the "four centers," and accelerating the development of the "science and innovation center", and unceasingly improving and strengthening the "energy level" and core competitiveness of Shanghai as a whole. In the early 1990s, the development and opening of Pudong became a national strategy and became a flag of China's campaign for reform and opening up. From 1990 to 2000, with the opening of Lujiazui International Financial and Trade Zone, efforts were made to promote the construction of several national-level development zones, to explore and accelerate the resource allocation functions of the international financial center, the international trade center, and the technological innovation center. 

From 2001 to 2012, by virtue of China's accession to the WTO, Shanghai's Pudong piloted the national comprehensive logistics and support system reform, and initiated its development and opening in an all-round way. Meanwhile, it was officially proposed by the state that Shanghai should develop four international centers of economy, finance, trade and shipping. In addition, Shanghai took the opportunity of hosting a "World Expo" to further accelerate the construction and improvement of its urban infrastructure and urban layout, focusing on the development and improvement of its urban functions and "economic park" functions, in order to continuously optimize the city's comprehensive service functions and core competitiveness.

After entering this new era, China launched its first free trade zone in Pudong, starting a new round of reform and opening up experiments and development. In constructing the China (Shanghai) Pilot Free Trade Zone and Lingang Special Area, the city has been, in reference to the highest international standards, strenuously working out the best investment and trade rules, to develop a free trade zone of maximum openness, institutional innovation and exemplary practices, so as to continuously promote the open-oriented economic development in Shanghai. Meanwhile, Pudong is speeding up the construction of the core functional area of the science and technology innovation center, fully launching Zhangjiang Comprehensive National Science Center, focusing on the development of strategic emerging industries, promoting the development of scientific and technological innovation, and boosting the construction of the functions of the international economic center and the ability of scientific and technological innovation.

Thirty years have passed. Pudong should continue to play its role as a pioneer and an experimental district in development and opening up, continue to make greater contributions to advancing and upgrading Shanghai's different functional centers, leading in the growth of the "energy level" of Shanghai as an economic locomotive and its core competitiveness, setting up a new flag for this time of ours. 

RELEASE TIME2021-01-02