The Shanghai municipal government has given a solid boost to market confidence by announcing 22 favorable policies on Wednesday, which will help maintain the strong momentum in economic recovery, local officials said.
The 22 policies will boost market demand, stabilize growth, inject more vitality into market entities and further improve business environment, said Wu Qing, Shanghai's executive vice-mayor, at a news conference.
Industries hard hit by the resurgent COVID-19 cases, including cultural, tourism, sports, exhibition, advertising and civil aviation, will likely benefit the most, observers said.
Organizers holding economic and technology fairs in Shanghai this year will be granted a maximum 1 million yuan ($138,336) subsidy each, said Wu.
Meanwhile, the Shanghai government will provide 100,000 yuan to 300,000 yuan each as incentives to small and medium-sized enterprises that are recognized by the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology as niche-sector leaders with high market share and strong innovation capacity.
To nurture technology innovation, the city will reward key high-tech companies with a maximum 500,000 yuan each. The government's fiscal subsidy for technology upgrades of major projects in key areas has been raised to 100 million yuan — an extension of the previous raise to 50 million yuan in May, according to Zhang Hongtao, chief engineer of the Shanghai Commission of Economy and Informatization.
Companies are encouraged to enter emerging sectors like metaverse, green transformation and smart devices, in order to help Shanghai realize high-quality economic growth, said Zhang.
The export tax rebate processing time will be further shortened while Customs clearance efficiency should be improved in order to stabilize trade, said Zhang Guohua, deputy director of the Shanghai Municipal Commission of Commerce.
The municipal government will come up with new business soliciting models so that more multinational companies will set up regional headquarters and research centers in the city, he said.
This is the third time this year that Shanghai has introduced supportive measures to stimulate economic growth. The first 21 measures were rolled out in late March and another 50 measures were announced in late May.
Much progress has been made since then. Data from the Shanghai Bureau of Statistics showed that the average added value of industrial companies with annual sales revenue of at least 20 million yuan each rose 16.1 percent year-on-year in August.
The value of total imports and exports of the city surged 15.8 percent year-on-year to approach 415 billion yuan. The total retail sales of consumer goods also gained 2.5 percent year-on-year while fixed asset investment increased 9.9 percent year-on-year.
According to the municipal government's research over the past few months, companies still have high expectations for more optimized supportive policies. This is particularly true of companies confronting stiffer operational difficulties, said Wu.
Shanghai's measures introduced on Wednesday, which come at a critical juncture in the national effort to further stabilize economic growth, represent an upgrade of previous measures.
A clear and firm supportive policy environment can better offset external uncertainties, he said.