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“Changning is Marching towards an International Boutique District”
04/01/2017

-- An interview with Wang Weiren, Secretary of Changning District Committee of the CPC

 

Journalist: In recent years, Changning has led Shanghai and even China to innovate in many aspects.According to the 10th Party Congress in the district, “Changning should keep viewing its own development based on the trends of Shanghai, China and even the whole world and stay creative for work in order to achieve more breakthroughs in the future.” Why should we set our district towards such a high goal?

Wang Weiren: To consider and plan the development of Changning with a holistic outlook is the most important lesson we’ve learnt from these years’ work. The development of one district is in fact not just about itself; we must think of where it’s located to meet the demands of the overall development of Shanghai and national strategies. And it’s due to such an idea that we will be able to acquire greater room for development.

We’ve taken the lead in China to achieve innovations on trading supervision methods like “bonded exhibition plus trading” and “four-in-one” service for overseas talents. Meanwhile, we’re the first district in Shanghai to launch the pilot project of “one business license for multiple addresses” for enterprise registration.

  

Journalist: We noticed that Changning has also “taken the lead” in many respects in order to support the building of China (Shanghai) Pilot Free Trade Zone.

Wang: Yes. According to the requirements of the Central Government and the CPC Shanghai Committee that the Free Trade Zone should provide imitable and transferable experience, so we are trying to figure out what contributions Changning can make to the overall development when it comes to the Free Trade Zone.

That’s why we proposed “being initiative in three aspects”: imitating and promoting the experience of the Free Trade Zone in Changning; doing jobs for the district with the idea of developing the Free Trade Zone in mind; serving building of the Free Trade Zone based on realities in Changning and keeping exploring to commercialize innovative fruits in the Free Trade Zone in a larger area.

  

Journalist: What about another major strategy, the building of Shanghai Science and Technology Innovation Center? What does the district government intend to do?

Wang: That Changning makes talents gathering the is core of the this job. as From the point of view of Shanghai, Changning has not only advantage but also obligation to do more in attracting talents among all districts. We believe talents are the key to industrial development, so we provide “four-in-one” one-stop service for overseas talents, which is very popular with enterprises and professionals. Now half of the services for overseas talents in Shanghai are offered in Pudong, and 1/3 of them are in Changning. It’s fair to claim that Changning’s one-stop service for talents has gone beyond administrative division to benefit all and enhance Shanghai’s attraction for talents.

  

Winning through innovation

Journalist: So did we achieve so many innovations out of delicate planning or by coincidence sometimes?

Wang: I believe reforms and innovations must be conducted with concentrated attention and intensive efforts. We must be bold enough to explore in order to make breakthroughs.

For instance, in setting down innovation measures of service businesses, we made blanket surveys. The leaders of the government and the district committee paid visits to more than 1,000 enterprises in the district to list over 1,000 problems, corresponding to which we made a “List of Services”. We would spend a long time in each of these enterprises to get to the heart. Caterpillar, for instance, didn’t have its Shanghai branch recognized as regional headquarters due to policy restrictions, which somehow hindered its absorption of high-end talents and function gathering. After careful discussion, we contacted relevant municipal departments to streamline its organization and made the branch identified as headquarters, thus transferring more functions of the company among Fortune Global 500 to Shanghai.

We’ve found from our extensive surveys that many problems cannot be accomplished in an action but need to be handled little by little. Also, something that matters little for the overall situation can matter a lot for an enterprise, which we should never undervalue. Actually the process of getting problems solved is a process of innovation and reform.

 

Journalist: But our officials must be under great pressure to break through the limitation and to do jobs innovatively.

Wang: Yes, unprecedented pressure, in fact. Like the “Internet Plus”. In the past, an advocacy was oriented to all enterprises, but now we call for more specialized, individualized and targeted services for enterprises.

Also, despite industrial development funds everywhere, more specific demands of enterprises can hardly be met. That’s why we’re planning to set up special development fund for air service and operate the fund by professional and market-oriented means. The government may not be so professional in judging the prospect of an industry, so cooperation with specialized organizations can help select the highest-quality objects for support and form a favorable industrial chain and environment for the air service in Changning.

Innovation involves certain risks, so we must offer policy supports for officials who dare to innovate in order to fully rouse their initiative.

  

In-depth transition towards two strategies

Journalist: The report of the 10th Party Congress in the district proposed integration of the two strategies of industrial development and urban renewal, the three industries of air service, “Internet Plus Consumer Service” and fashion culture and creativity industry and the four spaces of economic space, cultural space, living space and ecospace. What’s it intended for?

Wang: The focus of Changning’s work will be industrial development and urban renewal in the next five years. The idea of “four spaces” was summarized from our practices and made the direction for in-depth transition to follow.

Changning has entered the stage of in-depth transition and its stock land has reached  its peak value. At first we wanted to spare room for urban development through urban renewal, but later we thought we could step further. So today, Changning is marching towards an international boutique district, for which our urban appearance, convenience for people’s living, diversity of service and way of getting service must be enhanced. Weaknesses in these respects must be overcome by sustaining urban renewal.

Journalist: What kind of weaknesses do we have?

Wang: I’ve spotted some of them from our surveys. Xinhua Road, for instance, looks so fashionable, but people who live there find it hard to do grocery shopping. Now we have set down cooperation with an enterprise to build up a new standard vegetable market in the neighborhood. Thus the enterprise manages to have its property upgraded while people will gain more convenience, with cultural facilities to follow. That’s how organic unification of economy, culture, life and ecology can be achieved. In addition, with an aging population above Shanghai’s average level, we must strive to build up a multi-level elder care system, especially in the care for elders with dementia and disability. Also, there’re many old communities in Changning awaiting revamp, which is an important job for improving people’s living conditions.

In a word, urban renewal must penetrate into every corner and every building in the district, because we’re striving for better services for our citizens. A real international boutique district must do good to people’s living quality.

 

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