Shanghai's Pudong district: A miracle forged in 28 years
Updated 11:17, 11-Sep-2018
By CGTN's Yang Jing, Liang Si
Shanghai's Pudong district has spearheaded China's reform and opening-up efforts since it was chosen to host a pilot zone in 1990 and is seen well-positioned to maintain its leading role.
The 1,210-square-kilometer region on the east of the Huangpu River, which runs through downtown Shanghai, was once a desolate farmland that turned into a picturesque urban center with a futuristic skyline and sci-fi inspired skyscrapers.
Shanghai's Pudong district through the years. /Photo from Shanghai government

Shanghai's Pudong district through the years. /Photo from Shanghai government

Preferential policies including tax cuts and exemptions and access of foreign investors to a wide range of sectors helped grow Pudong's economy at astronomical rates – over 150 times in less than three decades from 1990 to 2017. 
Meanwhile, the service sector's contribution to Pudong's economic output surged to 74.7 percent last year, from 20.1 percent in 1990.
China's former President Jiang Zemin once described Pudong as "the symbol of China's reform and opening-up."
As a front runner in China's reform pilot areas, Pudong has kept up with the country's new efforts in trade, drawing on its geographic advantages.
In 2013, China established its first free trade zone China (Shanghai) Pilot Free Trade Zone (FTZ), which saw the establishment of 9,400 foreign enterprises with 19.5 billion US dollars in investment.
The negative list for foreign investment in the FTZ has been shortened to 95 items in 2017 from 190 items in 2013 in a bid to facilitate overseas investment.
In November, Shanghai will host the first China International Import Expo, which marks a new opportunity for Pudong to strengthen its key role in trade and shipping. 
Pudong has been preparing a center for overseas products as a long-term platform serving international trading partners, in a bid to further boost trade and retailing, the local government stated in a development plan. Pudong is eyeing 4.5 trillion yuan in retailing revenue in 2020, accounting for a third of the estimated municipal city's retailing sales.