Xinhua News Agency, Beijing, September 21st, Topic: Creating a new highland for reform and opening up-Perspective on the expansion of my country's pilot free trade zone

  Xinhua News Agency reporters Chen Weiwei and Xie Xiyao

  A few days ago, the State Council issued the overall plan for the Beijing, Hunan, and Anhui pilot free trade zones and the expansion plan for the Zhejiang pilot free trade zone.

What is the significance of the expansion of the pilot free trade zone?

What differentiated exploration will be carried out?

At the press conference of the State Council Information Office held on the 21st, Wang Shouwen, Vice Minister of Commerce and Deputy Representative of International Trade Negotiations, gave an interpretation.

  The pilot free trade zone is a test field for my country's reform and opening up.

Since the establishment of the Shanghai Pilot Free Trade Zone in 2013, my country has successively established 18 pilot free trade zones. With the addition of 3 this time, there are 21 pilot free trade zones.

In the past seven years, the pilot free trade zone has formed 260 institutional innovations, which are replicated and promoted nationwide or in specific regions.

  Why should the free trade zone be further expanded?

According to Wang Shouwen, the purpose of this move is to stimulate the endogenous driving force for high-quality development through larger-scale, broader, and deeper reform and exploration; and to promote the formation of a new pattern of development through a higher level of opening up.

  This expansion is conducive to further serving the national development strategy.

According to Wang Shouwen’s analysis, the four newly established pilot free trade zones or expansion zones will achieve full coverage of the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei region, full coverage of the Yangtze River Delta, and superimposition of national development strategies such as the rise of central China, which will help promote the formation of a comprehensive, multi-level and diversified Open the cooperation pattern and create new advantages in international cooperation and competition.

  The expansion is also conducive to further ensuring the safety and stability of the industrial chain supply chain.

Among the four provinces and cities, Beijing has strong momentum for technological innovation, Hunan has a solid accumulation of equipment manufacturing, Anhui’s emerging industrial elements are relatively active, and Zhejiang’s digital economy is booming.

  "The four newly established pilot free trade zones or expansion zones will reinforce the chain from the source through technological innovation, rely on the integrated innovation of the industrial chain to further stabilize the chain, and enhance the advancement, stability and competitiveness of the industrial chain supply chain. Leading the high-quality development of the industry." Wang Shouwen said.

  It is worth noting that this plan gives the pilot free trade zone greater reform autonomy and in-depth exploration of differentiation.

  ——Beijing Pilot Free Trade Zone will help build a technological innovation center with global influence, accelerate the creation of a pioneer zone for the expansion of the service industry and a pilot zone for digital economy, and strive to build a high-level opening platform for the coordinated development of Beijing, Tianjin and Hebei.

  ——The Hunan Pilot Free Trade Zone will build a world-class advanced manufacturing cluster, an international investment and trade corridor linking the Yangtze River Economic Belt and the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area, a pioneer zone for China-Africa in-depth economic and trade cooperation, and a new highland for inland opening.

  ——The Anhui Pilot Free Trade Zone promotes the deep integration of technological innovation and real economy development, accelerates the construction of scientific and technological innovation sources, advanced manufacturing and strategic emerging industries, promotes the integrated development of the Yangtze River Delta region, and forms a new highland of inland opening.

  ——Zhejiang Pilot Free Trade Zone expands the area to build a bulk commodity resource allocation base centered on oil and gas, a new international trade center, an international shipping and logistics hub, a digital economy development demonstration zone, and an advanced manufacturing cluster.

  Wang Shouwen said that the plan fully considers the strategic positioning and requirements of the pilot free trade zone, and puts forward distinctive and differentiated pilot tasks around service trade, advanced manufacturing, technological innovation, and digital economy and other new fields and new business formats. A characteristic new height of reform and opening up.

  In the face of severe and complex domestic and international situations, the free trade pilot zone has been expanded again, demonstrating my country's determination to continue to deepen reforms and expand opening up.

  From building a more complete factor market-oriented allocation system to the introduction of the "Overall Plan for the Construction of Hainan Free Trade Port"; from lowering import tariffs on some commodities, actively expanding imports, and further reducing the negative list of foreign investment access... despite the impact of the epidemic my country has always adhered to reform and opening up, and accelerated the formation of new advantages in international cooperation and competition.

  "This time the central government has decided to establish a new batch of pilot free trade zones and strive to explore a higher level of independent opening up in the pilot free trade zones, demonstrating the firm determination of the Chinese government to unswervingly expand opening up and build a new system for a higher level of open economy. "Wang Shouwen said.

  According to his analysis, the total utilization of foreign capital and imports and exports of the four provinces and cities last year accounted for about 20% of the country. The export-oriented economy has a good foundation and rapid growth.

The establishment of new pilot free trade zones or expansion zones in these four places will help to explore the construction of a higher-level open economic system under the new situation and promote high-quality economic development.