Letters to the Mayor

The followings are suggestions from the global business community to Mayor Han Zheng to help make Shanghai a world metropolis.

Yorke: We are one of the very few international companies that even have "Shanghai" in our name - The Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation Limited

Stachels: Why not build a masterplan for Shanghai as the "Green Metropolis" for Asia Pacific? The proposal would be to form an Environmental Technology Advisory Committee with the participation of enterprises, who have clear concepts and can contribute, together with academic institutions and governmental authorities.

This committee should focus on developing a masterplan for quick wins for the ecology, not too academic, but based on technological achievements and proven examples in saving of energy, resources and costs. Many companies could contribute with advanced technology.

Such an initiative for building a masterplan and forming a working committee will fit to the priorities as outlined by Mayor Han:

- focus on energy saving and environmental protection

- embracing innovation

- enhancing modern services

- emphasizing quality of growth, in particular in the area of construction.

Reinaudo: Service export (trade) should become a key contributor to Shanghai's growth in the future. Adopting the right policy to attract more multinationals to set up Asia Pacific, in addition to China, headquarters in Shanghai will accelerate this development.

All global metropolises have the best-in-class communications infrastructure to support their intensive, sophisticated business and cultural activities. An implied, critical factor that is fundamental to realizing Shanghai's 2020 vision of becoming an international economic, trade, finance and shipping centre is the availability of world class communication infrastructure for its economy, business, government and public sectors like transportation.

Leupp: It is good to hear Mayor Han emphasizing the careful use of resources.

We would like to help make Shanghai industries more energy efficient and by that enhancing Shanghai's competitiveness and image in China and in the world.

Government can help increase the energy saving awareness of the people either by introducing incentives to save energy or by law or regulations to enforce new industrial standards.

Wu: We would like the Shanghai government to significantly raise penalty for IPR violations in Shanghai, so that Shanghai's attraction can be maintained for international and domestics entertainment industries to continue or increase investment here. Culture is critical for any international metropolis and Shanghai's further development desperately needs cultural industry development. To help make Shanghai a new cultural centre for China, for Asia and even for the world, IPR protection must become a focus in practice. Making Shanghai's retail environment conducive to legitimate content business, in whatever forms (physical or digital), is key. When this improves, artists and companies will naturally be drawn to Shanghai and make a great living.

Lee: Make Shanghai the city of dreams (dream cars, jets, great ideas, art creative companies).

Build a business airport for private/commercial jets and with helicopter services.

Build a car museum close to the Shanghai International Circuit.

Promote Shanghai as the world's metropolis by popularizing a bilingual society (Chinese and English), local education and outside recruitment.

Wipe-out counterfeits, privacy and keep beggar, drugs and pimps off the streets.

Build a fair and harmonious society for both locals and foreigners

Loup: For the city overall it would be worth considering a more detailed masterplan for the development of the city. This should look at the issues of conserving buildings of architectural merit alongside plans for new development to provide modern places of work and living.

In formulating this plan it would be worth looking at the strengths and weaknesses of other leading cities around the world. It is not just a question of allowing commercial development for profit. The most enduring and successful cities have in the centre major parks, community buildings such as museums, theatres, buildings for worthy non-profit organizations and social/low income housing for people who provide useful services in the inner city but otherwise may not be able to afford to live there as private sector prices escalate.

Therefore there needs to be a long term vision of what different types of building users the city needs to develop a vibrant successful self sustaining mix. The provision of good quality low income housing will be important to allowing the process of relocation to proceed in a harmonious way to release important city centre sites.

There is an opportunity for Shanghai to lead by example in striving for high standards for the environment, conservation and pollution control, not just within China but Asia.

McCall: Shanghai has always been the leading city in China and now needs to move its strategy to a different level as many other cities are catching up or in some instances passing Shanghai by. Let me give two examples.

Firstly, and in preparation for the 2008 Olympics, I believe Beijing has passed Shanghai in terms of greening the environment, or removing pollutants from the atmosphere. Beijing has a clear goal of the Olympics and Shanghai needs to have some similar style of goal. Secondly, I know personally of two business (major manufacturing companies) who are looking to move their operations out of Shanghai to developing cities such as Hangzhou, where many of the problems are apparent in Shanghai are resolved or not an issue in that city. For instance, environment, welcoming of foreign investments, connectivity, pollution.

For Shanghai to become a world metropolitans it needs to benchmark itself against best in class in the appropriate category of infrastructure, environment, or services etc. It then needs to map out a very clear plan and works with industry leader to achieve this. Shanghai should internationalize its thinking because as a world metropolitans, it would compete with other worldly cities.

The Shanghai government and the municipal districts should be congratulated on the progress they made today but for Shanghai to continue to develop successfully, it now needs to raise its standards to the next level. I strongly believe it has the leadership and people to do this.

Lin: Multinationals like ourselves need to attract much more talent over the next 10 years to realize our goal of making Shanghai our China, and perhaps regional, headquarters. Only by having the best of those areas can we achieve the international level talents to come to Shanghai and stay to help us develop our business.

Tedjarati: Make this city an envy of the world. Make it not just exciting for business, but "super clean" in all aspects. Make it a fully bi-lingual world city. Bring the best of arts, museums (we have way too few), theatres (we have far too few), concert halls, stadiums and the like to this great city. And I am sure many have said, develop the Bund waterfront walkway into a most dazzling and magnificent walkway with exceptionally clean waters.

Susan Chen: Shanghai is a great city, if we add an additional element of arts & cultures in the city, that will be even greater.

(June 21, 2005)

Copyright 2004 by Chinadaily.com.cn All rights reserved.