Standing on the famous Bund of Shanghai and looking eastward across the Huangpu River, one cannot but see clusters of magnificent high-rise buildings in Pudong, which used to be largely a rural area scattered with dilapidated old houses, fields of weeds, poodles and pools. Viewing skyscrapers in Pudong has become a tourist attraction for visitors in Shanghai. But high-rise buildings are not all that Pudong has. What is more inspiring is the emergence of modern industries that make use of advanced technology, state-of-the –art equipment and the industrial output valued more than a quarter of that of the Greater Shanghai.
The last few years have seen a rapid upgrading of Pudong’s industrial sector as a whole, best captured by the emergence of six pillar industries: the automaking industry headed by Shanghai-General Motors joint venture manufacturing Buick cars, the electronics-information industry led by a Sino-Japanese joint venture producing super large-scale integrated circuits, the steel-making industry with a Sino-German joint venture as its backbone producing stainless steel sheet, the petrochemical and fine chemical industry centering around Sino-German and Sino-US joint ventures, the home electrical appliances industry represented by Sino-Japanese joint ventures, and the bioengineering and pharmaceutical industry developed jointly by local pharmaceutical manufacturers and a number of world-renowned pharmaceutical enterprises.
When senior representatives of General Motors of the United States, BSF of Germany and Hitachi Electric of Japan talked about their investment in Pudong, they all pointed to Pudong’s geographical advantage, good investment environment and the high quality of local enterprises as Pudong’s attractions for their respective firms in their global strategy. In just a few years, along with the launch of investment projects by transnationals, so many world’s first class and most dynamic and vital industries have steeled in Pudong. At the same time, the global sales and after-sales service network of the investing transnationals have extended to China. This is an extension of global market competitions.
Currently, among Pudong’s 200 biggest joint ventures, not many have independent designing and developing capabilities. However, on the Chinese side, about 200 deputy managing directors, 1,000 division managers, 3,000 senior and intermediate-level engineers and technologists and 30,000 skilled workers have been learning on the job. This is the talent resource foundation for sustaining Pudong’s industrial leading position. These enterprises and talents, through production-related association and cooperation, are expected to boost thousands of enterprises in the Yangtze River Valley, as well as in other parts of the country, engaging in integrated production and sales for both domestic and international markets. By doing so, Pudong will function as a leader and bridge to integrate China’s modern industry with the mainstream of the world’s economy.