1 10 2001 was the tenth year in a row that Shanghai achieved double digit economic growth. Her GDP per capita rose to above US$4500, bringing her combined economic strength to the level of middle income countries. Judging from this trend, further development in the next two years can be expected. By 2003 at the latest, the GDP per capita of Shanghai will reach US$5000. In the next two or three years, there will be major changes in the lives of the people there. Shanghai will enter the “age of automobiles”. In South Korea and Singapore, family cars became popular when GDP per capita reached US$5,000. In China, tariff on automobiles for this year and the next will fall so that more and more families will have their “automobile dreams” realized. Owning a car will become a symbol of being fashionable. 2 The popularity of family cars enhances the quality of people’s leisure life. People of Shanghai will depend less on trains, long-distance coaches and transport “Self help travel” will become the fad. It will take the people of Shanghai further out beyond the Yangtze River delta. Meanwhile, companies for their journeys. travel to other countries will become common. The demand for financial services, banking services and insurance services will grow substantially. With the introduction of individual credits systems, such services will become more and more part of a family’s consumption pattern. As GDP per capita enters the zone of US$4,500 to $5,000 range, bonds, foreign exchange, mutual funds and gold trading will become common management tools for individual finances. People will look actively for more investment venues. Spending on education will likely become a new idea. People need “re-charging”, and they want to learn at their leisure time in order to enhance their competitiveness in the talent market. upon Shanghai. Translated from: The era of continued education will soon dawn 3 1. As described in Source 1, what kind of changes to the lives of the people of Shanghai will likely come? ZHUANG Hongwei and her husband CHEN Junming were taken off their posts in 1992 and 1994 respectively. Hongwei was only 26. She tried her hand in the garment business and later operated a stall to sell noodles and dumplings. It has always been her aspiration to clear a path for laid-off worker in Shanghai so that they can start their own business. Four years ago, Hongwei and her husband went into business with friends. Their team of four saw a demand from busy career women who have difficulties looking after their families. They put together a loan of 10,000 yuan and started a food catering and delivery service. They called it “Mama Zhuang Food Service”. On day one, there was a lot of interest from the public. The mass media gave wide coverage and “Mama Zhuang” soon became a popular brand name. At its peak, the food preparation workshop expanded from 28 square metres to over 80 square metres. 4 The team took in over 100 laid-off workers and monthly turnover reached well over 100,000 yuan. But ZHUANG Hongwei lacked management experience and knowledge. operation expanded, but business went bad. business. In August, she had to close down the She and her husband again had lost their job. way the cruelty of the market. The Hongwei learnt the hard The reality is that once you have come into the market, you must obey the market forces, otherwise the operation is bound to end up in failure. Hongwei has vowed to re-launch “Mama Zhuang”. Shanghai may not be difficult. 2. To survive in But to live well, a great deal of effort has to be made. How would you describe the spirit of Shanghai as found in Source 2? 3. Is there a similar Hong Kong spirit here in Hong Kong? 5 In almost all Chinese cities, traffic peaks at the morning and afternoon rush hours. Shanghai is no exception except that there is currently one more traffic peak. At 9 or 10 pm each day, all public transport become as crowded as they are in the morning and afternoon rush hours. The commuters are mostly people attending evening schools. Going to evening class has become part of the daily life of many Shanghai residents. Today in Shanghai, the tides of learning rise one on top of the other. All kinds of learning centres are mushrooming. They range from adult education, night school, community school, re-employment training, to family studies, neighbourhood courses and small group studies. In the late eighties, China opened up to the world and many people wanted to learn English in order to go abroad. been more than 20 years. going stronger everyday. Learning English has become a fad. It has The tide of “learning” has stayed in Shanghai and it is People are aware that those who do not update themselves with learning they will be left out. Translated from: Wen Wei Pao. 6 November 2000 6 4. What have you learnt from the Shanghai spirit as mentioned above? 5. Is there a similar situation in Hong Kong?