Pedestrians walk past Chinese national flags displayed along the Nanjing Road pedestrian street in Shanghai (Photographer: Qilai Shen/Bloomberg)

Shanghai Envisages Financial Center With Capped Population

(Bloomberg) -- China’s largest metropolis Shanghai has released a plan for its future through to 2040 that leaves virtually no room for population growth.

In a draft development plan released Tuesday, the city’s authorities aim for the financial industry to make up about one fifth of local economic output. That’s up from 16.2 percent last year, based on data from the city’s statistics bureau. The plan will cap the permanent population at about 25 million, versus 24.2 million in 2015.

Authorities plan to raise the percentage of newly-built small and medium-sized apartments and rental housing in the city, and limit the supply of land. It envisages handling 160 million to 180 million airport passengers each year.  

Shanghai faces the challenge of lackluster growth as traditional drivers including land sales, foreign investment and exports lose steam, the draft said. Innovative industries aren’t stable enough to support expansion, and land use is "seriously inefficient," it said.

The draft plan is open for public input until Sept. 21.

With assistance from Yinan Zhao