Shanghai is prioritizing its economic structure to achieve sustainable gains in the city's economic growth, a vice mayor was quoted as saying by Sunday's Shanghai Daily.
The city is prepared to sacrifice a bit of economic growth if necessary, Vice Mayor Tu Guangshao told a financial forum Saturday.
Shanghai's economy grew in the second quarter, pushing the growth rate in first half of 2009 to 5.6 percent after a sluggish gain of 3.1 percent in the first quarter. However, Shanghai lagged behind some cities in terms of the first half economic growth.
"Shanghai has a more urgent need and a more difficult task to adjust its economic growth than other places," Tu was quoted as saying by the English newspaper.
Shanghai, which traditionally is an industrial city, is gearing up to be a city boasting modern services and an advanced manufacturing sector, he said.
The State Council in April issued a directive to build Shanghai into a global financial and shipping center by 2020. The municipal government has framed implementation policies to facilitate the task.
It has allocated 10 billion yuan (1.46 billion U.S. dollars) to help industrialize scientific and research programs as part of the structural upgrading.
Tu called for support from financial institutions to smooth industry consolidation by granting more loans to companies undergoing merger and acquisition activities.
Financial institutions should help build Shanghai into an international trade center by planning and developing trade-related financial services such as yuan settlement programs, he said.
Tu said there has been encouraging improvement in the city's loan structure since the start of this year, as loans granted to the service sector, individuals and small- and medium-sized enterprises increased.