Shanghai’s Pudong New Area is now China’s most iconic skyline, as well as a link to the rest of the world after 30 years of rapid reform and opening up. On April 18, 1990, China announced the development and opening up of Pudong.

Thirty years later, once occupied by farmland, the area has become a new landmark of China’s reform and opening up. Pudong’s regional GDP has increased more than 210 times. It now contributes nearly one-third of Shanghai’s GDP.

The area is now home to over 1,000 financial institutions, over 300 regional headquarters of multinationals, and more than 240 foreign-invested research and development centers. Shanghai Port, mainly in Pudong, is one of the world’s busiest with the containers’ throughput ranking the world’s top for 10 consecutive years.

In September 2013, the Shanghai Pilot Free Trade Zone (FTZ) was officially launched there, injecting further impetus into its growth. With reforms including the first negative list for foreign investment, Pudong has been committed to playing by the international rules, pushing to establish systems for trade and investment facilitation.

Since the establishment of the Shanghai FTZ, more than 120 institutional innovations have been replicated and promoted all around the country.

Even facing the economic pressure brought by the coronavirus outbreak, the Lingang area of the Shanghai FTZ has still gained growth momentum, with 7 billion yuan (roughly 1 billion U.S. dollars) worth of fixed-asset investment made in the first quarter of 2020, an annual increase of 20.5 percent.

Pudong is a bellwether of China’s reform and opening up, while its Lujiazui financial zone in it has witnessed the deepening of the country’s financial reform. Five foreign financial institutions, including J.P. Morgan Securities (China) Company Limited and Russell Investments Management (Shanghai) Co., Ltd., held online opening ceremonies there in late March.

Over the past three decades, Pudong has attracted 35,000 foreign-funded enterprises from 168 countries and regions, receiving foreign investment of 95.86 billion dollars.

Investments from Shanghai are also reaching out all over the world. By the end of 2018, Pudong-based enterprises alone had invested in nearly 200 projects in 30 countries along the routes of the Silk Road Economic Belt and the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road (Belt & Road).

Pudong New Area is just an epitome of China’s full dedication to reform and opening up. The country is on its way to embracing the world with an ever faster pace.

“China will stay committed to openness, cooperation and unity for win-win results. We will steadfastly expand all-round opening up. Our aim is to turn the China market into a market for the world, a market shared by all, and a market accessible to all,” Chinese President Xi Jinping said at the third China International Import Expo opening ceremony in Shanghai on November 5.