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Pudong spearheads in innovation, testament to “dual circulation” potentials



Shanghai's Pudong district, designated as a new area in 1990, celebrated its 30th anniversary of development and opening-up on Thursday, offering a window on China's proactive blending into the international community.

Through decades of progress, Pudong has undergone a remarkable transformation, striving to take a lead in boosting the development of the Yangtze River Delta and the country's reform and opening-up.

Now, renowned as a paragon of China's burgeoning economy, Pudong boasts a deluge of investment, innovation and talents.

During the third China International Import Expo that concluded on Tuesday, the global health care giant Novo Nordisk signed an agreement to pour 200 million yuan (about 30.24 million U.S. dollars) into the Lingang area, a new section of the China (Shanghai) Pilot Free Trade Zone in Pudong.

"We find that the Shanghai Lingang area is a place set up for development in China, so it's a very attractive area also on a global scale, and it's an area where there are already many large biotech and biopharmaceutical companies present," said Lars Fruergaard Jorgensen, president and chief executive officer of the company.

According to Jorgensen, the new legal entity to be established in Pudong will engage in marketing and promotion, pharmaceutical research and development, as well as finished-goods import and distribution.

Pudong's impressive pizzazz has investors worldwide salivating over its rosy prospects. Its actual use of foreign capital soared to 8.77 billion U.S. dollars in 2019 from 13 million U.S. dollars back in 1990. And the dazzling figure is still rising, with foreign funds growing by 4.3 percent in the first nine months this year. By the end of last year, the regional headquarters of 332 multinational enterprises had settled in Pudong.

Currently, the number of foreigners working in Shanghai is about 215,000, ranking first nationwide and accounting for 23.7 percent of the country's total number. Meanwhile, Pudong accommodates the most foreign residents in the municipality.

Zhu Zhisong, deputy secretary-general of the Shanghai municipal government and executive deputy director of Lingang's administration, said that preparations for Lingang's 14th five-year plan are underway. It is expected to shine a spotlight on major areas such as investment, trade, capital, transportation, employment and cross-border data flow.

Shanghai has set development goals for Pudong, involving high-tech industries such as computer chips, medical innovation, aviation manufacturing, automobiles and big data.

In March, Shanghai opened its first 5G industrial park in central Pudong New Area. The park is application-oriented, with most of the major projects signed focusing on hardcore industries integrating 5G with intelligent connected vehicles, manufacturing and video solutions. Industry giants like Huawei and SAIC Motor have settled in the park.

China's top chipmaker, Semiconductor Manufacturing International Corporation, has realized mass production of 14-nanometer chips and won breakthroughs in the development of 12-nanometer chips, fueling Pudong's rise in the country's emerging chip industry.

"The 30-year development and opening-up of Pudong have indeed won Shanghai its core strength and confidence," said Zhang Weiwei, director of the China Institute of Fudan University in Shanghai.

"As a city with a sound industrial base, Shanghai is open and inclusive, and Pudong has the responsibility to take the lead," Zhang said.