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87 13 Some Principles for Establishing the Shanghai Foreign Investment Commission1 May 12, 1988 To a very large degree, our hopes for revitalizing Shanghai rest on having a foreign investment commission. To tell the truth, Shanghai can’t solve major problems with just RMB 1.4 billion2 a year. Without making big moves to attract tens of billions of U.S. dollars in foreign investment, there’s no way to fundamentally change the look of Shanghai. We must be determined to put our energies into this agency, staff it with the most capable cadres, get it off to a strong start, and thereby change Shanghai’s image and reputation in the outside world. Foreigners are very sensitive—they want to see what kind of people 1. Zhu Rongji delivered this speech at the first preparatory meeting of the Shanghai Foreign Investment Commission, which was established on June 10, 1988, and was under the direct leadership of the municipal government. It was created in order to improve the investment environment , simplify approval procedures, and achieve “one agency, one window, and one chop” in dealings with foreign investors. The chairperson of the commission was Mayor Zhu Rongji and the first vice chair was Vice Mayor Huang Ju. Under them were one executive vice chair and one vice chair from each of the municipal commissions on planning, foreign economic relations and trade, construction, and economics. This agency was responsible for reviewing and approving foreign investment projects between US$5 million and $30 million; facilitating, promoting, and coordinating the resolution of problems; assisting in the course of preparations, production, and operations of foreign-invested enterprises and in providing good services; guiding and overseeing reviews and approvals by districts, counties, and bureaus of foreign investment projects of less than US$5 million. After 1990 this commission and the Municipal Commission on Foreign Economic Relations and Trade became “two names but one team” to facilitate coordinating and cooperation. 2. In March 1988 the Shanghai municipal government established the Shanghai Jiushi Group Co. Ltd. in order to implement the spirit of its “Report on Deepening Reforms, Further Opening Up and Speeding Up the Shift of Shanghai’s Economy to an Externally Oriented One,” which had been approved by the State Council. This was an enterprise directly under the leadership of the city government. Its main functions were to engage in general operations and development in order to quickly grow the additional RMB 1.4 billion in fiscal revenues Shanghai gained after implementing the new fiscal contracting system, promote Shanghai’s production and exports, and accumulate funds for urban construction. In January 1990 the Jiushi and Shishi companies merged to form the new Jiushi Group Co. Ltd. Zhu_Shanghai Years_1987-1991_hc_9780815731399_i-xii_1-620.indd 87 12/26/17 12:00 PM 88 Some Principles for Establishing the Shanghai Foreign Investment Commission are determined to do this, what kind of team is on the job, and what methods are being used. These are all very important details. We now have a chance for a turnaround—foreigners are showing greater confidence in Shanghai, so we should use this momentum to guide its development . In work involving foreigners, we should introduce one major measure after another, broaden our impact, and build up our reputation. The publicity departments mustn’t pour cold water on this. Once foreigners believe that Shanghai’s investment environment is improving, they will come one by one, and each contact should be reported. There won’t be hope for Shanghai, nor will Pudong truly develop, until foreign investment increases. In the short term, great progress can’t come from land leases. I’m not saying we shouldn’t lease land—we should actively conduct pilot programs—but we mustn’t place much hope in this. Some people from Taiwan and Hong Kong have suggested that no matter what, we mustn’t lease out our coastal lands because if we did, we would have no access to the sea. Furthermore, we cannot develop Pudong just for the sake of developing Pudong. It is being developed in order to renovate the old urban areas. In order for Shanghai’s garden villas to be restored, for a financial center to be established, and for traffic problems to be solved, the entire population of Shanghai must be dispersed toward Pudong, Chongming, and other rural areas. We now receive over a hundred letters every day from our residents, all complaining about excrement overflows, garbage pile-ups, traffic jams, and housing shortages—they’re practically...


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