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147 23 Develop High-Quality Services and Improve the Investment Environment1 July 18, 1988 As Jiang Zemin has pointed out, we must improve service attitudes in all aspects of Shanghai, including the investment environment. That environment cannot be addressed with just “one chop.” If related services in various areas aren’t available, people still won’t be willing to come here, and quick project approvals won’t be of any use. When Jiang Zemin and I attended a news conference last week, some reporters told us that journalist teams coming here from many Beijing publications have been subjected to all sorts of “treatments” and have sworn never to return to Shanghai again—it seems that the situation is growing more and more serious . Yesterday I received a letter from Ozaki Haruo, the Shanghai bureau chief of the Nihon Keizai Shimbun, stating how irresponsible the posts and telecommunications department is. He said they have to buy two copies of all newspapers . Why? Because they can’t read their subscription copies in the morning as these don’t arrive until the evening, so they have to buy copies from a newsstand . Every day they have to buy dozens of duplicate newspapers. I forwarded this letter with a note to Xu Zhichao, head of the Municipal Bureau of Postal Services and Telecommunications, asking officials to visit the grassroots post offices, telegraph offices, and telephone offices and discuss with them how to help Shanghai improve its investment environment. The problem is really too serious. Right now, you basically can’t enter Shanghai through its airports and ports, or you can enter but can’t exit, nor can you buy tickets. The bureau chief keeps some tickets, the department chief keeps some, the section chief keeps some—by the time you get to the ticket window there are basically no tickets available, so you have to go through many back doors and think of all sorts of methods in order to get hold of a ticket. Another issue: hotels need unified management: we must strengthen the authority of the Municipal Tourism Bureau. You have to take charge of the hotels—I don’t care if it’s the Jinjiang Hotel, the Donghu Hotel, or what—you 1. This is part of a speech made by Zhu Rongji at the 11th mayor’s administrative meeting of the Shanghai municipal government. Zhu_Shanghai Years_1987-1991_hc_9780815731399_i-xii_1-620.indd 147 12/26/17 12:00 PM 148 Develop High-Quality Services and Improve the Investment Environment must take charge of them. Today everyone is so adept at internecine fighting and undercutting each other’s prices, yet they are unable to go out and make money. How can we revitalize Shanghai like this? A famous American author,2 who wrote The Long March: The Untold Story, met with me recently and after our talk asked me to help him buy a plane ticket. He said he wanted to return to Beijing but wasn’t able to do so. What a joke—asking the mayor to buy a ticket! I also joked, saying that I’m not in charge of the airline. As a local official, I’m not in charge of the central government’s enterprises, but I’m on very good personal terms with them so I said I’d help him buy a ticket. This is really absurd! We have to think of a way to have unified management of those tickets retained at every level and not allow back-door channels. As it is, when foreigners want to leave, they have to buy high-priced tickets; otherwise they basically can neither come nor go—how can this be? Foreigners who want to invest won’t come and tourism can’t develop. We now really and truly must boost morale internally and improve Shanghai’s image externally. Of course, poor service attitudes reflect a belly full of grievances, which are due to a poor understanding of the current situation and a lack of confidence. Shanghai people have no confidence in Shanghai—foreigners have a bit more confidence in Shanghai than its own people do. At the first land-lease sale in Hongqiao, for example, the Sun Enterprise Company Ltd. of Japan bid over RMB 100 million, three times the reserve price. This shows confidence—they feel they can make money. Also three countries competed furiously for the Shanghai Metro project. They could see that Shanghai has great potential for development and that they can make money, yet we...


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