Overview of Shanghai
Located at the estuary of the Yangtze River in East China and facing the Pacific Ocean, Shanghai sprawls across more than 6,340 square kilometers and in 2018 had a population of 24.24 million.
Shanghai is China's most prosperous economic center, with per capita GDP climbing to $20,398 by the end of 2018. Shanghai has been a pioneer in China's reform and opening-up, and in innovation. A total of 670 multinational enterprises have set up regional headquarters in the city, and 441 foreign-invested research and development (R&D) centers have also been established there. Shanghai is one of the world's leading financial centers, with its financial markets generating transaction volume of 1,645.78 trillion yuan ($23.4 trillion) and trading volumes of several products ranking top among global markets. An RMB products center, which matches the currency's international status, has taken form in the city.
Shanghai is an important shipping center, handling 730.48 million tons of goods in 2018. On top of that, its international container volume reached 42.0102 million TEUs, the highest in the world for nine straight years. The city ranked fourth in the world for the annual number of cruise ship passengers. Some 771,600 flights were processed at Shanghai Pudong and Hongqiao international airports, reaching 117.63 million inbound and outbound trips.
Shanghai is also a world-renowned tourism destination and an international cultural exchange center where many cultural activities are held. International tourists journeyed to the city 8.93 million times in 2018. The city boasts a rich and profound culture with 131 museums and 23 public libraries. It also held 175 international and domestic sporting events during the year.
Shanghai is striving to become a technology innovation center. To achieve that goal, the city spent about 4 percent of its GDP on R&D in 2018. The Zhangjiang Comprehensive National Science Center plays a key role in China's continued technological innovation. The center has developed large-scale scientific equipment, such as the soft X-ray free-electron laser and super intense ultrafast lasers. In total, 223 tech companies were listed on the technology and innovation board at the Shanghai Equity Exchange.
Following on from the successes reaped as the host city of 2010 World Expo, Shanghai continues to live up to the motto "Better City, Better Life". It remains committed to four target areas - service, manufacturing, shopping and culture. The pilot free trade zone will be expanded and a high-tech board will be set up at the Shanghai Stock Exchange. Shanghai also hosted the 2nd China International Import Expo in 2019.
By 2035, Shanghai aims to become an excellent global city, a modern metropolis, an economic, financial, trade, shipping and technology innovation center, and a place that is not only innovative and humanistic, but also eco-friendly.