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New developments in Shanghai most importantly the development of Yangshan Port and the surrounding area. The project is cementing Shanghai's position as one of the world's leading container ports and logistic centres, and strengthening the economic integration of the Yangtze Delta.

Many other cities, will also embark on their own development plans of their own. In a mirror image of the 'build a new countryside' campaign, urban China is taking up the task of building new cities. In Northern China, the largest city building campaign is in Tianjin's Binhai investment zone.

With the appreciation of the yuan and growing competitive capabilities in the global market, more Chinese companies will expand their overseas ventures. But it is usually low-profile companies (ideally equipped with adequate technologies) that cut the largest deals. Shenzhen-based Huawei and ZTE are typical examples of this type of quiet warrior.

Domestically, competition will become more heated, with profits being increasingly squeezed in many sectors of the market. This poses a new challenge. Purely to stay in business, corporate leaders will have to take crash courses in the importance of branding, design, and elements of the so-called creative economy.

The task of reforming the domestic capital market will remain -- and looks likely to take more twists and turns before it lives up to the expectations of overseas investors. Until that happens, however, mainland companies will continue to seek listing in overseas markets, and for investors, Hong Kong will remain their most attractive oriental pearl.

The government, media and overseas NGOs (non-governmental organizations) will place greater emphasis on the social aspects of the "made in China" label. Ideas such as social accountability and ethical manufacturing will spread in the coastal industrial regions.

With a constant stream of industrial and environmental accidents bringing shame on the nation, some degree of re-centralization of mining and environmental administration may be considered.

Vocational and technical schools will see stronger development. The central government began to push for progress in vocational education in September 2005, and, after a year of preparation, enrolment criteria and curricula will perhaps show major changes in fall 2006.

The medical system and related social security will be the biggest headache for reformers. When people say half their savings are set aside to cover possible hospital expenses, it is easy to see how the problem is hurting the entire economy.

Which is why the government is planning to raise urban and rural disposable incomes: by raising salaries for the former and by abolishing agriculatural taxes for the latter. Also, public spending on health and education is set to rise.

From: ChinaDaily  2005-12-26 10:31

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Editor: Zhang Jialu
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