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266 46 How to Stabilize the Markets1 February 20, 1989 The two most important areas for stabilizing the markets are the supply of goods and service attitudes. 1. We Must Organize the Supply of Goods It must be emphasized that if you just try to stabilize prices, they can’t be stabilized . This is the present monetary situation: in January over RMB 30 billion was issued nationally, with a net added RMB 22.3 billion put into circulation. Never has so much money been issued in a single month—that was equal to 40% of the planned amount for the whole year. In Shanghai, a net RMB 920 million was put in circulation in January, which was also unprecedented. Therefore the situation with prices and markets this year will be extremely challenging. Over the past eight months, we were able to stabilize the markets because we had goods in hand. Otherwise, we would not have been able to keep the markets stable. That’s why we still have to organize a supply of goods, we still have to enliven the markets, and we still have to attract commodities from all over the country to Shanghai, including non-staple foods. We cannot take agriculture lightly. The abundance in vegetable markets during this year’s Spring Festival did not rely on Shanghai’s “vegetable gardens” alone; it also relied on the finance and trade departments going all over the country to organize supplies . That’s why this work must be strengthened. That is the agricultural area. For industry, the main concern is to integrate finance and trade. It now appears that we only need to keep the prices of 19 types of necessities stable. We needn’t be so rigid about other products and should still allow some price increases; otherwise Shanghai’s enterprises won’t be able to survive. However, the impact of these price increases on the people must be kept to a minimum, which in fact can be done. Why? Because prices in Shanghai have now bottomed out. Its people can’t buy local goods—the markets are full of products 1. This is part of a speech by Zhu Rongji at the third executive meeting of the Shanghai municipal government. Zhu_Shanghai Years_1987-1991_hc_9780815731399_i-xii_1-620.indd 266 12/26/17 12:00 PM How to Stabilize the Markets 267 from elsewhere that are low in quality but high in price. If we raise prices and sell Shanghai products in Shanghai, if their quality is better than what it is now, the people won’t be swearing at us. Take yarn, for example. Yarn from elsewhere costs over RMB 40 per jin;2 although the Shanghai product is only RMB 29 per jin, there’s none in stock. Therefore if we now increase its price to over RMB 40 per jin, the people won’t find it objectionable. If industry and commerce are well integrated, they won’t have any objections. 2. We Must Improve Service Attitudes Service is also worth money. If you raise prices and also improve your service attitude, people won’t be so upset. I think the most important move this year will be to effect a noticeable change in commercial behavior. No matter what, this must be emphasized at the city’s conference on commercial work: “Don’t shortchange the customers and don’t upset the customers.” This looks like a very modest expectation, but it isn’t easy to put into practice. If we can achieve these two things, Shanghai will be doing quite well. On the one hand, the Municipal Office of Finance and Trade must focus seriously on service attitudes , and on the other hand, we must implement a responsibility system. To improve service attitudes, we should first send capable cadres to properly manage several of the units directly under you, such as Department Store No. 100 and the Hualian Department Store. I don’t particularly approve of the work at Department Store No. 100—many people complain about it. Tell unit leaders to buck up and serve the people well. I read in the Liberation Daily today that in a move to banish counterfeit and shoddy goods, the Hualian Department Store has stopped procuring items from over 200 manufacturers in Shanghai and elsewhere—this seems to be a bit of a rectification. Don’t use relationships, don’t take kickbacks, don’t let just any sort of rubbish be sold along Nanjing Road—we can’t go on like this...


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