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Shanghai economy in Q1 sees recovery signs
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Shanghai's economy showed positive signs of recovery in the first quarter, with two important sectors posting growth, Mayor Han Zheng said Thursday.

"The central government's stimulus measures are taking effect as the Shanghai economy is showing positive signs in the first quarter," said Han during a meeting with Seoul Mayor Oh Se-hoon yesterday in Shanghai.

The services industry grew on a year-on-year basis while the industrial sector also showed some recovery signs on a month-by-month basis in the first quarter, Han said.

The central government in November announced a 4-trillion-yuan (US$586 billion) stimulus package to revive the nation's economic growth.

Shanghai's economy in the first quarter was better than expected and the city will continue efforts to boost its economy. But no economic details were available.

"The economy is confronting lots of uncertainties, but we are confident that we can sustain the stable and relatively fast growth of the Shanghai economy," Han said.

Shanghai is aiming for an economic growth of 9 percent this year while China is targeting an expansion of 8 percent.

"The target is challenging and needs more effort but we are confident we will make it," Han said.

Shanghai is not immune to the global financial crisis, he said.

The Shanghai government has taken measures including giving more credit support to smaller businesses to arrest the slowdown.

But the financial crisis also brings challenges and opportunities.

Han said the crisis has pushed Shanghai to improve its economic structure. Shanghai is shedding low value-added industries and boosting the modern services industry and advanced manufacturing sector.

The State Council, or China's Cabinet, in late March announced guidelines to help build Shanghai into a major financial and shipping center by 2020.

The central business district in the city's Pudong New Area is viewed as the Chinese Wall Street as it hosts big-name financial corporations which base their Chinese headquarters in Shanghai.

(Shanghai Daily April 10, 2009)

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