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479 84 Speech at the Establishment of the Shanghai Overseas Exchange Association May 11, 1990 First of all, I wish to extend a warm welcome to all you overseas Chinese and to our kinsmen who are back in China and visiting Shanghai. I’m sure you’re all as pleased as I am—many good things have recently happened in Shanghai. The development of Pudong and the policies for it were basically decided on in mid-March, and this is something that the people of Shanghai have longed for for many years. In a recent meeting with a foreign entrepreneur, [Vice Premier] Yao Yilin said that the development of Pudong signifies that part of the focus of China’s reforms and economic growth has now shifted to the Yangtze Basin. That is to say, the opening up of Shanghai will foster economic growth in the Yangtze Delta, enabling it and all the provinces in the Yangtze Basin to make a greater contribution to China’s economic development. To Shanghai, this is very heartening. Right now, everyone in the city is very pleased, and many have written letters and donated money. An older man in poor health mailed in RMB 5,000 to make his own contribution to developing Pudong. One worker mailed us RMB 3,000, saying he agreed that the state, the collective, and the individual should all pitch in to solve Shanghai’s problems with housing and gas. The decision of the central authorities has won the support of all levels of people in Shanghai, and what’s more, their enthusiasm is extremely high. Now that the decision has been made, our work will have to keep up. First, we must improve the investment environment. This involves both the hard and soft environments. Although we have 10 years of experience in reform and opening up, our soft environment is still imperfect. Foreign businessmen have many criticisms, and we are still studying how to further improve. First of all, the mentality of people in Shanghai has to change. Foreigners say we are “too smart, (but) not wise.” When you’re too smart, you tend to count pennies about everything. But you do have to count a few pennies— after all, economic performance always matters—but it isn’t good to overdo it. We should recognize that provided something benefits us, we should do it regardless of how much the other party benefits. If they make more money, it’s because they are more capable, so don’t be jealous. This mentality of excessively Zhu_Shanghai Years_1987-1991_hc_9780815731399_i-xii_1-620.indd 479 12/26/17 12:01 PM 480 Speech at the Establishment of the Shanghai Overseas Exchange Association counting pennies has got to change; otherwise foreigners will still think that Guangdong, Fujian, Dalian, and Qingdao are good places to invest in whereas Shanghai is not. The mentality must change first—it must be a bit more liberated , and we must be a bit bolder. Dear kinsmen, I’m not bragging, but Shanghai has two strengths that other places cannot match. For one thing, no other place in China has such a complete array of industries. Shanghai has no mining but it has every other industry, and their standards are generally quite high. This is favorable for your investments, and in the future, it will also be favorable for lowering your investment costs. For another thing, the sci-tech caliber of Shanghai’s people cannot be found anywhere else in China. I worked at the State Planning Commission and the State Economic Commission for over 30 years, and am deeply aware of how high the level of Shanghai cadres is. Shanghai’s current weakness is that its people are unable to work more efficiently . Some of them think they’re very clever—there’s a lot of buck-passing and a lot of mutual foot-dragging, which delays everything. We have to make tighter rules for how we work: we can’t have mutual foot-dragging, mutual recriminations, and mutual delays. As Shanghai opens up and as we review our experiences of a decade of reform and opening up, our work will surely improve. Please be confident—we really are making progress. Problems in the hard environment cannot be solved immediately. Transportation infrastructure must be solved; otherwise you wouldn’t come here. I’m asking the city’s Office of Overseas Chinese Affairs to organize a visit to the Huangpu River Bridge1 for you—it’s a majestic project. The two...


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