Shanghai eliminates 2015 economic growth target

Shanghai eliminated its economic growth target for this year, the city`s mayor said on Sunday, as China works to shift its focus to qualitative goals with the economy slowing.

BEIJING: Shanghai eliminated its economic growth target for this year, the city`s mayor said on Sunday, as China works to shift its focus to qualitative goals with the economy slowing.

The financial hub did not provide a target for growth in an annual report but said Shanghai would maintain a steady expansion and aim for greater efficiency.

"We are not too concerned about GDP," Mayor Yang Xiong said at the opening of the city legislative session, according to a state radio report. He said the government is paying more attention to developing a pilot free-trade zone and to economic and social reforms.

Shanghai`s economy grew 7 percent in 2014, he said.

The Chinese leadership has called for greater tolerance for slower growth, and a handful of provinces and municipalities have lowered their goals for 2015 growth after missing targets last year. Influential economic advisors said in December that China should cut its 2015 economic growth target to 7 percent.

Beijing is under pressure to take assertive steps to avoid a sharper downturn, after reporting the Chinese economy grew at its slowest pace in 24 years in 2014. Property prices cooled and heavy debts weighed on companies and local governments.

Yang also said that a New Year`s Eve stampede that left 36 dead was a "terrible failure in public safety." 

China punished 11 city officials for failing to prevent the stampede, which injured dozens and damaged the image of the country`s most cosmopolitan city.

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