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Shanghai seeks world-class sports stature

By HE QI | China Daily | Updated: 2018-08-30 08:19

People try out new workout equipment at the National Exhibition and Convention Center (Shanghai) earlier this month during the 2018 FIBO China, a show dedicated to working out and adopting a healthy lifestyle. YIN LIQIN/CHINA NEWS SERVICE

Shanghai released a document on Wednesday listing 30 guidelines to boost the sports industry-part of its effort to build itself into a global city of excellence by 2035.

Under the guidelines, which were released by the municipal government at a news conference, Shanghai is on track to become China's leading sports power by 2020, with an annual industry output estimated at 200 billion yuan ($29.3 billion). Over the next five years, the city will continue to double its annual sports output to become a world-class sports city. By 2035, it is expected to boast a sports industry on par with other major sports cities globally.

"The sports industry has become the new growth point of the national economy," Chen Qun, a vice-mayor of Shanghai, said at the news conference.
The city reported output of 126.7 billion yuan from the sports industry in 2017, a 21.1 percent annual increase that outpaced the city's overall economy.

In particular, the city's sports service industry achieved an output of 82.9 billion yuan and accounted for 65.5 percent of the overall sports industry in the city, close to the level in developed countries, according to Chen.

"Although it's rapidly developing, the sports industry in general is still in its infancy and needs more powerful policy support," Chen said. "By introducing the guidelines, we hope to offer a better business environment and better guidance for the distribution of resources-funds, land and talent-to further invigorate the industry."

The city will strive to build an industry driven by professional and entertaining sports events and public enthusiasm for fitness and wellness, a market featuring internationally competitive sports enterprises and a destination for major international sports events, complete with various major sports venues and facilities.

The city also aims to build itself into an international sports trade center and to enhance its research and development and equipment manufacturing.

For that purpose, the municipal government also promised streamlined administrative procedures, preferential policies and better services to boost the sports industry's long-term development.

Fitness and health will be integral to the industry, with a broadening landscape for grassroots sports engagement across the city, Chen said.

The city aims to introduce and support a greater variety of leisure fitness activities, such as winter sports, water sports, mountaineering, motorcycling and flying.

It also promises to boost the supply of fitness and health facilities across the city, allowing every resident to access a fitness venue within a 15-minute walk.

Earlier this year, the municipal government announced its grand plan to build itself into a global city of excellence by 2035. The city's Chongming Island is designed as a major destination for international outdoor sports and leisure.

The island holds at least 50 district-level sports competitions annually, as well as many international events, including a stop on the UCI Women's Road Cycling World Cup, an Ironman 70.3 triathlon and the Rock 'n' Roll Marathon.

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