Asia’s International Trading and Finance Centres
Edited by François Gipouloux
Chapter 12: Can Shanghai Become the New Hong Kong of China?
12. Can Shanghai become the new Hong Kong of China? Yuan Zhigang On March 25, 2009, the Chinese State Council gave the green light to speed up the process of turning Shanghai into a major international financial and shipping center by 2020. It urged Shanghai to develop into a multifunction financial center to keep up with China’s economic influence and the Renminbi (RMB)’s international position, as well as an international shipping hub which can take advantage of the global shipping resources. Although the goal of building Shanghai into an international financial center has long been established as the national strategy, this is the first time for the country has set up a coordination mechanism at the national level, and given equal strategic importance to the global shipping and financial center building. This shows that the speed of turning Shanghai into an international financial and shipping center has been accelerated. Can Shanghai then become the new Hong Kong of China? SHANGHAI VERSUS HONG KONG As China’s economic center, Shanghai’s development has been affected by the national strategy. Before 1949, Shanghai was once the most important metropolis in the Far East, as well as a financial and trading center with a relatively developed service sector. This was clearly indicated by the city’s industrial structure. In 1952, the primary, secondary and tertiary industry accounted for 5.9 percent, 52.4 percent and 41.7 percent of Shanghai’s GDP respectively. However, with the advance of socialist transformation during the first five-year plan period (1953–1957), the...
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