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Sci-tech Innovation
 
 
 
Yangpu: Construct Bearing Area for Innovation and...
By Zheng Hong, Zhang Yi and Meng Qunshu


“Yangpu District is undergoing a profound process of transformation. To grasp the precious opportunity of constructing for Shanghai Science and Technology Innovation Center, we must liberate our thoughts, truly grasp the essence and nature of free trade zone and intensify innovation on system and mechanism. Reform on government administration pattern will not only have influence on the free trade zone, but will also accelerate our pace of transformation and upgrading,” said Zhuge Yujie, Yangpu District Party Chief.


We must be ideology-oriented and take measures after making solid foundation


“Fundamentally speaking, a free trade zone is inseparable from innovation on systems. Innovation on systems is not confined to free trade zone. It embodies various aspects of reform on government administration. Yangpu District is a district located nearest to downtown area of Shanghai. While expanding the scope of Shanghai Free Trade Zone, we need to grasp essence and find out precise positioning.”


“The essence of Shanghai Free Trade Zone, as an experimental field for intensifying reform, lies in innovation on system and mechanism,” said ZhugeYujie. The objectives are “Two high, two reductions and two respects”. Continue to make improvement on government administration. Strictly follow the principles of “high transparency and high efficiency”; reduce the number of approval procedures and cut down the rate of charging; show respect for market principles and creativity of the people. “The fundamental thing is to construct the free trade zone. We should make reference from Shanghai Free Trade Zone and stimulate government bodies to make reform continuously.”


To learn from and promote the experiences of reform on Shanghai Free Trade Zone, Zhuge Yujie said that the government should properly handle relations on three aspects. The first one is the relation between plus and minus. The government should minus first and plus later, reduce the number of administrative procedures and entrust the power of approval to departments on lower levels; expand the scope of government service and provide services to enterprises and citizens. Make improvement on service pattern. The government should realize that no all problems could be solved by government. If a problem could be solved based on market behaviors, it should be handled to the market for solution. One plus and one minus, but the final approach is to do plus calculation.


The second one is the relation between separation and combination. The separation and combination of government body aims to realize more efficient administration. Despite the separation, we make greater efforts on combination. By integrating force, we would give more government resources to government bodies on lower level and reveal the effectiveness of reform.


The third one is the relation between point and facet. Fundamentally speaking, the free trade zone equals to a reform. Though we have made breakthrough on points, we should also achieve harmony on facets. “We should make breakthrough on points. However, if we have done a good job on a certain point, but failed to promote this measure on facets, it would be useless at all and would damage the whole situation. The relation between partial and overall should be like this: Partiality with the precedence of overall, and the overall aspects should take care of partiality. That can be said as good relation. We should further promote reform on points in the free trade zone, but meanwhile, we should pay attention to coordination on facets.”


“Ideology is pioneer. We should take actions only after solving ideological problems and laying solid foundations.”


Reform on administrative approval procedure is important.


In October 2014, Yangpu District Government promulgated a “List of Administrative Power of Yangpu District (2014)”, and became the first district-level government in Shanghai for disclosing a list of administrative power. By examining this list, we would find out that Yangpu District has cut down the item of administrative power from 6,621 to 4,407; nearly one-third items of administrative power was eliminated from the list.


In the past year, Yangpu District has made several reforms on business and trade systems. Enterprises benefited a lot from these reforms. In the past, an enterprise needed 20 working days for completing registration procedures, but now, all procedures would be completed within 5 working days. In the past, examination and approval for a foreign-founded project would be completed within 8 working days, but now, it only requires 2 working days. In the past, material examination and approval would be made, but now, this system was altered into “promise, notice and procedural approval”. The period for construction project administration has been reduced from 409 working days to 241 working days. As for projects with clear and simple boundary conditions, the period for administration is reduced to 175 working days.


“Examination and approval is the most important duty of government. It is also a section that most problems concentrated in, so we must pay more attention to it,” said Zhuge Yujie. Supervision afterwards is also an important issue. “In the past, the focus of government was administration in advance. It was usual that the government’s power was enlarged boundlessly, but such administration has low efficiency. Now the threshold of administration is lowered, but we also face great challenges. The government must be capable of administration, and has good administration capability. Otherwise, no one would follow your instructions. To achieve this objective, it is necessary to strengthen supervision afterwards.”


“Strengthening supervision beforehand and afterwards does not mean administration at random. You must have reasons to do that. That is to say, the government must accumulate information and data. That’s why the municipal government has reiterated repeatedly to integrate data of various departments. Yangpu District will strictly follow the rules of the municipal government.” Once the list of power has been made, the government should also make a list of duties. “Someone must shoulder responsibility if it failed to administer properly.” Yangpu District is actively promoting arrangement for the list, compiling pamphlets and guidance, so as to determine clearer power and duties for the government.


Transformation and development requires us to shake off old patterns


Breaking though on barriers is the embodiment of liberation of thoughts. Yangpu District has profound thoughts on this aspect. In the era of planned economy, as an old industrial base of Shanghai, Yangpu District’s industrial output accounted for one-fourth of the total industrial output of Shanghai. But during the process of industrial transformation, Yangpu District also experienced huge difficulties that others are hard to image. Without eliminating dependence on ideology, channel and pattern, it would be impossible for Yangpu, an old industrial base, to make successful transformation.


All cadres and people of Yangpu District agreed with the “three principles” proposed on a mobilization conference for expanding Shanghai Free Trade Zone: All ideologies that do not conform to disciplines of socialist market economy should be eliminated resolutely. All shortcomings, systems and mechanisms that restrict development should be eliminated boldly. All government administration measures that restrict innovation and entrepreneurship should be fundamentally altered.


Since Yangpu District began to construct knowledge innovation district in 2003 and became a national innovation-oriented pilot urban area of China in 2010, the district gives full play to its advantages, makes great efforts to nurture new force and has created profound atmosphere for innovation and entrepreneurship. Statistics showed that in the past three years, 27 entrepreneurship parks in Yangpu District have incubated 12,000 business startups organizations, with an annual growth rate of 15%.


“Currently, three aspects of Yangpu District have not yet fallen into a pattern: urban area layout, construction and development, and industrial structure. Fundamentally speaking, a free trade zone is inseparable from innovation on systems. Innovation on systems embodies on various aspects of reform on government administration. By promoting reform on administrative approval system and making exploration on beforehand and afterwards supervision, it will greatly stimulate Yangpu District to construct a bearing area for innovation and entrepreneurship and complete transformation and development.” Zhuge Yujie shows great confidence to the future development of Yangpu District.


Yangpu District is undergoing a profound process of transformation. To grasp the precious opportunity of constructing for Shanghai Science and Technology Innovation Center, we must liberate our thoughts, truly grasp the essence and nature of free trade zone and intensify innovation on system and mechanism. Reform on government administration pattern will not only have influence on the free trade zone, but will also accelerate the pace of transformation and upgrading in Yangpu District.


By promoting reform on administrative approval system and making exploration on beforehand and afterwards supervision, these measures will definitely stimulate Yangpu District to construct a bearing area for innovation and entrepreneurship and complete further transformation and development — Zhuge Yujie, Yangpu District Party Chief.

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