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Shanghai planning shoppers' paradise

Updated: Mar 12, 2018 China Daily Print

Shanghai must compare favorably to the world's best cities if it expects to become a shopper's paradise like New York City, London and Tokyo, according to the city's most senior official.

The eastern Chinese metropolis will release a top-down development plan this year to create a world-class international hub for shopping, Li Qiang, Party secretary of Shanghai, said this week.

"Making 'Shop in Shanghai'a golden brand is part of the ongoing effort to open up further and undertake continual reform in the new era," Li said during a panel discussion of the Shanghai delegation to the ongoing session of the National People's Congress.

"Shanghai's mission is to represent China in international collaboration and competition, so it must be comparable to the world's best cities and have the highest standards," he said, adding that shopping is in the city's genes.

More than 54 percent of global retailers have branches in Shanghai, making it third in the world behind only London and Dubai, according to CBRE Group, a commercial real estate and investment firm based in Los Angeles.

More than 90 percent of renowned high-end brands have a presence in Shanghai, with many using the city as their China or Asia-Pacific headquarters.

"There is hardly an internationally known brand that cannot be found in one of our shopping malls," said Shang Yuying, director of the municipal Commission of Commerce. Yet, she said, Shanghai still trails other major cities.

A report released by Master-Card in September ranked Shanghai 19th in the world for overseas visitors who stayed for at least one night in 2016 - 6.12 million - far behind New York City, London, Paris and Tokyo.

The city should strive to create world-class shopping districts, an essential element for an international shopping hub, Shang said.

"Nanjing Road and Huaihai Road (in Shanghai's Huangpu district) are popular, but they can't compare with the likes of the Champs-Elysees in Paris or New York's Fifth Avenue in terms of global recognition," she said.

Gao Yun, Huangpu's Party secretary and an NPC deputy, said the two shopping areas will get a face-lift this year to make them more attractive to visitors.

Shang added that Shanghai should also protect and promote its traditional brands through innovation and global business strategies.

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