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Financial center fine-tunes business climate

Wang Ying
Updated: Oct 29,2018 7:18 AM     China Daily

Shanghai will strive to offer a better business and market environment to help multinational corporations achieve greater development, which is the main target of the upcoming China International Import Expo and the 100 measures the city adopted this year to expand its scope of opening-up, said Shanghai Mayor Ying Yong.

In his keynote speech on Oct 28 at the 30th International Business Leaders’ Advisory Council, Ying stressed that opening-up is a fundamental policy of China and is Shanghai’s greatest strength.

In the past 30 years, the advisory council, “an outcome of Shanghai’s opening-up, has been the participant and witness of the city’s opening-up,” Ying said.

Mark Weinberger, global chairman and CEO of EY and advisory council chairman, said Shanghai, as China’s largest economic hub, has played a vital role in that opening-up and has itself been on a journey of remarkable transformation.

“From establishing the Pudong New Area to pioneering China’s first Pilot Free Trade Zone to being the first Chinese city to break through the 3 trillion yuan ($432.1 billion) barrier for GDP last year, Shanghai is a city of firsts. A city receptive to new ideas and bold enough to seize upon them,” Weinberger said.

Ying said Shanghai’s achievements have come through opening-up, and the city will open up more for further development, which is “key for Shanghai in reaching its development goals.”

He said Shanghai will enter a higher level of opening-up in the financial sector and will establish a high-quality and open modern industrial system, intellectual property protection, a more international imports platform and first class business environment.

Weinberger said Shanghai made distinctive achievements because it is a city that keeps trying new things and many of the advisory council’s recommendations were put into practice.

“Mega cities such as Shanghai can lead the world in the 21st century in innovation and cooperation. … I hope in the future Shanghai will be just as welcoming to visitors and ideas from around the world,” said Yuval Noah Harari, the best-selling author of Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind, Homo Deus: A Brief History of Tomorrow, and 21 Lessons for the 21st Century.

The International Business Leaders’ Advisory Council meets annually in Shanghai to collect advice for the city’s mayor from top multinational corporations’ executives to aid better development of the city. The first meeting was in 1989 by the then Shanghai mayor Zhu Rongji, who served as premier from 1998 to 2003.

This year’s advisory council meeting is special as it is the 30th since the council was first convened in 1989, and 2018 also marks the 40th anniversary of China’s reform and opening-up.

“Like all significant anniversaries, we spend time, both celebrating the past and the fantastic progress Shanghai has made as a world city, and looking to the future-helping to lay the foundations for achievements yet to come,” Weinberger said.