International Markets in Forming a New Development Pattern
During the NPC and CPPCC, General Secretary Xi Jinping proposed to gradually form a new development pattern whereby domestic and foreign markets can boost each other, with the domestic market as the mainstay, and develop new advantages for China in international cooperation and competition under new situations. Here are some important ways to fulfill the requirement. We need to strengthen the “four major functions”, rely on platforms such as the China International Import Expo, free trade zone, and new area, and national policy of integrated regional development in the Yangtze River Delta, and further improve Shanghai’s role as an important open hub for the domestic and international markets in forming a new development pattern.
1. China International Import Expo (CIIE): a new bridge connecting the domestic and international markets
A key part of Shanghai’s core competitiveness lies in its function as a hub in the flow of international and domestic factors. Amidst the new development of globalization, this function is manifested not only in Shanghai’s strong capacity to handle exports of many goods and services, but also in its abilities to protect China’s open economy and work with international economic coordination mechanisms. It’s necessary for Shanghai to develop the ability to provide services for the new round of international finance, trade, and investment through the CIIE, improve Shanghai’s role as a hub in promoting the flow of international and domestic factors, and give full play to its role as an important window in the endeavor to build an open economic mechanism at a higher level.
It’s imperative for Shanghai to take the opportunity of holding the CIIE to optimize the business environment in Shanghai, attract more multinational companies to settle in Shanghai, and provide more chances for local multinational companies to make investments in countries along the “Belt and Road”; to promote China’s transformation from export-led growth to development featuring the balance between imports and exports; to shift from taking developed countries as export destinations to balancing imports and exports of both developed countries and countries along the “Belt and Road”; to use the CIIE as a starting point to accelerate creating advantages for Shanghai as an open hub in finance, trade and shipping, and to forge greater synergy between the “Belt and Road” Initiative and Shanghai’s efforts to build “five centers”, so that the CIIE will truly become a new bridge connecting the domestic and international markets.
2. Hongqiao International Economic and Trade Forum: a platform integrating theories, media and think tanks
As one of the highlights at the CIIE, the Hongqiao International Economic and Trade Forum is a theoretical bridge connecting the domestic and international markets. It provides theories and practices by bringing together experts and scholars from all walks of life to discuss the CIIE and how Shanghai will create a highland of coordination between policies and theories regarding an international open hub under the new development pattern with the domestic and international markets boosting each other. The continuous innovation of the forum in its form further reflects the active exploration made by Shanghai in institutional innovation in terms of theoretical research.
The holding of the Forum can help Shanghai promote interactions and exchanges among theories, media and think tanks through the platform of the CIIE. Making good use of Forum’s function as a platform integrating theories, media, and think tanks will help Shanghai further improve its role as a strategic link in the domestic and international markets. Besides, the Forum is a new platform for Shanghai to make collaborative innovations of theories and policies.
3. Free trade zone: a bridgehead serving the “Belt and Road” Initiative
The world today is undergoing tremendous changes unseen in a century, and the global economic structure has also experienced major changes. Faced with new situations in global politics and economy, China has to shift from relying on flows of goods and factors of production to basing on rules and related institutions in its opening up. The first phase of the Sino-US economic and trade agreement was signed, which shows that China is willing to further open up to the outside world and benchmark the highest international standards in exercising institution-based opening up. The implementation of the agreement requires China to establish systems and mechanisms at many levels and in multiple fields. Therefore, the “four requirements for Shanghai” put forward by General Secretary Xi Jinping point out important directions for us to consider how to build Shanghai into a center in the domestic market and a strategic link between the domestic and international markets under the new development pattern. Besides, how to improve systems and mechanisms while taking into account the “changes that should be made and aspects that should be adhered to” will become one of the important themes for Shanghai’s economic and social development under the new development pattern.
The pilot free trade zone not only represents China’s “unprecedented opening up”, but also is a window for it to explore institution-based opening up. It’s crucial to align the construction of the “Belt and Road” Initiative with that of Shanghai Free Trade Zone to make the Pilot Free Trade Zone truly become a bridgehead serving the “Belt and Road” Initiative, and a platform for China and the countries along the “Belt and Road” to conduct consultation and cooperation for shared benefits, which will promote the further development of Shanghai’s role as a strategic link in the domestic and international markets.
4. “Two wings to soar”: an important practice in playing Shanghai’s function as an open hub in the domestic and international markets
Currently, Shanghai is making active efforts to build itself into an excellent global city. Its efforts to build “five centers” are closely related to the opening of the financial industry, investment and trade. Since its inception, the Lingang New Area has been committed to testing international economic and trade rules, promoting the implementation of the “50 special support policies”, accelerating the establishment of the Yangshan Special Comprehensive Bonded Zone, and creating a good business environment, so as to provide an important “experimental field” to play Shangha’s function as an open hub.
Meanwhile, the Yangtze River Delta Integrated Development Demonstration Zone and the Lingang New Area of the Pilot Free Trade Zone are the two wings that General Secretary Xi Jinping personally gave to Shanghai in its new round of development. The “two wings to soar” provide important practices for the efforts to build Shanghai into an international open hub.
It’s crucial to make full use of the system advantages of being the first to try new policies of the Lingang New Area of Shanghai Free Trade Zone, and achieve benign interaction between the domestic and international markets, which will enable coordinated development of China’s finance, trade, and investment under the new development pattern, and further demonstrate the advantages of opening up.
The “two wings to soar” of the Yangtze River Delta Integrated Development Demonstration Zone and the Free Trade Zone will become an important practice in playing Shanghai’s function as an open hub for the domestic and international markets.
5. Open economy: promote the formation of the development pattern with the domestic and international markets boosting each other with a high level of opening up
First, we should face changes through transformation and explore new development opportunities for Shanghai in exploring the establishment of a new open economic system in the fight against the pandemic. From the development and opening up of Pudong to the “three major tasks and one large platform”, Shanghai has always undertaken important missions in implementing national policies. During the “14th Five-Year Plan” period, it’s necessary for Shanghai to open to the outside world at a higher level to deal with the new changes in the global economy, accelerate the coordinated development in the construction of “five centers”, and achieve function transformation of Shanghai’s coordinated internal and external development.
Second, we should promote external development through pursuing internal development. In the process of pursuing integrated development in Yangtze River Delta, we should focus on the two keywords of integration and high quality, break administrative barriers, improve policy coordination, and promote the construction of “one growth pole, three zones and one highland”. We should facilitate the gradient development and transfer of industries among different cities, and accelerate the transformation and upgrading of Shanghai’s industrial structure. To achieve the goal of promoting the development of high-end manufacturing and modern service industries, Shanghai will play a leading role in the Yangtze River Delta region, and actively lead the practice and development of the policy of integrated regional development in the Yangtze River Delta in the demonstration area, central area, and the whole region.
Third, we should pursue coordinated internal and external development. Shanghai needs to continue to fulfill its responsibilities of exploring institutional innovation in the process of China performing external obligations. Meanwhile, as one of the key cities along the “Belt and Road”, it needs to further play its role as the bridgehead in the “Belt and Road” Initiative and promote coordinated development of urban cooperation and internal and external opening in the strategic interactions in the fields of investment, trade, finance and technology.