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September 22, 2020

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3 more pilot FTZs to boost opening-up

THE State Council, China’s Cabinet, has issued a master plan for three new pilot free trade zones in Beijing, Hunan and Anhui amid efforts to elevate the country’s opening-up to a higher level.

The plan outlines the priorities for each zone and pledges to give them greater reform space for in-depth exploration and to expand opening-up.

The Beijing pilot FTZ will focus on supporting the construction of an innovation center with global influence. It will accelerate the construction of a leading area for the expansion of trade in services and a pilot area for the digital economy.

The zone will also strive to build a high-level opening-up platform for the coordinated development of the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei region.

The plan also details steps for creating a first-class international environment for innovation and entrepreneurship, advancing innovation in services trade management, and exploring the building of an international port for the information industry and digital trade in the Beijing zone.

The new pilot FTZ in the central Hunan Province will focus on building a world-class advanced manufacturing cluster, an international investment and trade corridor linking the Yangtze River Economic Belt and the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macau Greater Bay Area, and a leading area for in-depth economic and trade cooperation between China and Africa.

The plan puts forward specific measures for the Hunan zone, such as the construction of a high-end equipment manufacturing base and the promotion of coordinated development of services industries in Hunan, Guangdong, Hong Kong and Macau.

Expected to set the standard for opening-up in the inland region, the pilot FTZ in the eastern Anhui Province will focus on promoting the in-depth integration of scientific and technological innovation and the development of the real economy. It will accelerate the pace of its pioneering role in scientific and technological innovation and the cluster development of advanced manufacturing and strategic emerging industries, while promoting the integrated development of the Yangtze River Delta.

The plan introduces measures including promoting commercialization of technological research results to support the Anhui pilot FTZ.

The State Council has also adopted a plan to expand the area of the pilot FTZ in coastal Zhejiang Province. This section will focus on building a new type of international trade center, an international shipping and logistics hub, and the construction of a commodity resource allocation base centered on oil and gas.

China had earlier established 18 pilot FTZs in areas including Shanghai, Guangdong, Liaoning, Hainan and Shandong.

Vice Commerce Minister Wang Shouwen told reporters yesterday that further expansion of the pilot FTZs aims to accelerate the formation of a new development pattern via a higher-level opening-up.


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