The achievements of the construction of the pilot free trade zone shine at the CIIE——

In the extraordinary ten years, the "experimental field" has borne fruitful fruits

At the 10th Anniversary Achievement Exhibition of the Construction of China's Pilot Free Trade Zone, the Beijing High-level Autonomous Driving Demonstration Zone displayed autonomous driving prototypes and equipment models. Photo by reporter Wang Wenzheng

The China Pavilion of this year's CIIE National Comprehensive Exhibition focuses on the "Achievements of the 10th Anniversary of the Construction of the Pilot Free Trade Zone", and comprehensively displays the exploration, practice and construction achievements of the Pilot Free Trade Zone. The picture shows a model of the first large-scale cruise ship in China, the Aida Modu, on display at the China Pavilion. Photo by reporter Wang Wenzheng

This year marks the 10th anniversary of the establishment of China's Pilot Free Trade Zone. To this end, the 6th China International Import Expo (hereinafter referred to as the "Expo") set up the "10th Anniversary of the Construction of China Pilot Free Trade Zone Achievement Exhibition" in the China Pavilion of the National Exhibition, and held a special investment promotion activity of the "Year of Investment in China" pilot free trade zone at the 6th Hongqiao International Economic Forum.

In the past ten years, what achievements have been harvested in the "experimental field" of the pilot free trade zone? What are the expectations of enterprises from all over the world to continue to cultivate this fertile soil? The reporter conducted an interview.

Twenty-two pilot free trade zones have been established

At the entrance of the 2013th Anniversary Achievement Exhibition of the Construction of the China Pilot Free Trade Zone (hereinafter referred to as the "Achievement Exhibition"), a colorful "time tunnel" slowly unfolds to visitors: the Shanghai Pilot Free Trade Zone was established in 2015; In 10, Guangdong, Tianjin, and Fujian Pilot Free Trade Zones were established. The export office is the Xinjiang Pilot Free Trade Zone, which was established in October this year.

Shanghai, where the CIIE is located, is the place where the "experimental field" is opened. In the past ten years, a total of 8,4 new enterprises and more than 1,4 new foreign-funded projects have been established in the Shanghai Pilot Free Trade Zone, with a total of US$586.1 billion in foreign investment, which means that more than US$<>,<> of actual foreign investment has been "recorded" every minute.

In the past 22 years, China has set up 2023 pilot free trade zones, forming a pattern of reform, opening up and innovation covering the east, west, south, north and middle, and coordinating the coastal, inland and border areas. In the first half of 21, the 18 pilot free trade zones accounted for 4.18% of the country's foreign investment and 6.<>% of the country's import and export trade, with less than <>/<> of the country's land area.

Many market players are witnesses of the fruitful achievements of the pilot free trade zone, and they are also witnesses of the hard work of the "experimental field".

Trade facilitation continues to accelerate: The Ningbo Area of the Zhejiang Pilot Free Trade Zone has innovatively launched a "one-stop" for the export of new energy vehicle containers, and a "first inspection, then shipment" supervision mode for cross-border e-commerce exports. "The customs clearance time of export goods is compressed to 1 day", "the turnover efficiency of the export front warehouse is increased by more than 50%", "the overall export time of new energy vehicles at Ningbo Port is shortened by 2 to 3 days"... The person in charge of the freight forwarding company made a calculation.

Institutional innovation stimulates the vitality of enterprises - In 2015, Fujian took the lead in implementing the "three-in-one" of industrial and commercial business license, organization code certificate and tax registration certificate in the pilot free trade zone. This system innovation has been carried out to the whole country, and many places have realized "one window for all" and "one network for all".

Financial afterburner to serve the real economy - Not long ago, six institutional innovations in the field of financial opening, including "cross-border RMB full electronic tax payment", were selected as the seventh batch of reform pilot experiences in the pilot free trade zone, and were replicated and promoted nationwide. "Online operation, complete tax payment and issue electronic tax stamps in a few minutes." The whole process of cross-border RMB electronic tax payment has been handled, and taxpayers in Hong Kong and Macao are full of praise.

"China's pilot free trade zones have achieved positive results in adapting measures to local conditions, highlighting local characteristics, adopting a phased and gradual approach, enhancing investment and trade facilitation, promoting innovation and technological development, and expanding the opening up of key areas such as the service industry and digital industry." This is stated in the report "The Role of China's Pilot Free Trade Zones in Promoting Institutional Innovation, Industrial Transformation and South-South Cooperation" released by the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) at the "Year of Investing in China" Special Investment Promotion Event for Pilot Free Trade Zones (hereinafter referred to as "Investment Promotion Activities").

"The pilot free trade zone has provided impetus for Covestro's development, and its policy dividends such as attracting and retaining talents are crucial to Covestro's innovation and development in China, which has become an important base for enterprises to develop in a wider range of fields around the world." Steilemann, CEO of the German chemical company Covestro Group, said.

A number of world-leading industrial clusters have emerged

In the corner of the achievement exhibition, the picture of Ningbo-Zhoushan Port, Zhejiang, the world's largest port in terms of cargo throughput, is particularly eye-catching. In the center, an LNG bunkering vessel undergoes bonded LNG bunkering operations. According to the data, Ningbo Zhoushan Port has become the world's largest oil and gas trading port and the world's fifth hub port with international ship LNG bunkering service capacity, accounting for about 1/5 of the country's oil storage capacity.

In order to support the innovative development of the whole oil and gas industry chain in the pilot free trade zone, the Ministry of Commerce and Zhejiang Province issued the "Several Measures to Support the Open Development of the Whole Oil and Gas Industry Chain in the China (Zhejiang) Pilot Free Trade Zone" in 2020. As the only pilot free trade zone composed of land and sea anchorages in China, the Zhejiang Pilot Free Trade Zone, which does not produce a drop of oil, now gathers tens of thousands of oil and gas enterprises, and ranks fifth in the world in terms of bonded fuel oil bunkering.

On the fertile soil of the "experimental field", a number of world-leading industrial clusters have grown jointly. Sheng Qiuping, Vice Minister of Commerce, introduced that the Ministry of Commerce supports the deepening of differentiated exploration in their respective pilot trade zones, and promotes the innovation and development of the whole industrial chain around key areas such as biomedicine and marine economy.

Carry out differentiated exploration - the Shanghai Pilot Free Trade Zone has established a modern industrial system focusing on six major industries, including "China Chip", "Innovative Drug", "Intelligent Manufacturing", "Blue Sky Dream", "Future Car" and "Data Port". Tianjin Pilot Free Trade Zone focuses on the development of the financial leasing industry and becomes the world's second largest aircraft leasing cluster... The construction plans of their respective pilot free trade zones have clarified the development goals and industrial positioning of the pilot free trade zones, supported various localities to carry out differentiated exploration according to local conditions, and promoted the high-quality development of characteristic industrial clusters.

Facilitation of factor flow: Guangxi Pilot Free Trade Zone explores new international land-sea trade channels, sea-rail intermodal transport system integration reform, etc.; The Northeast Pilot Free Trade Zone actively promotes the reform of state-owned assets and state-owned enterprises, the innovation of industrial management models, and the strengthening of industrial cooperation with other regions. The reform and exploration of key areas such as trade, investment, finance, and cross-border data flow have promoted the free and convenient flow of capital, technology, talent and other factors, and built the pilot free trade zone into an important carrier for high-quality industrial development.

Strengthen the industrial chain and supply chain - the Hubei Pilot Free Trade Zone has gathered more than 1,6 optoelectronic information enterprises, becoming the largest technology R&D and production base in the field of optical communication in China, and the Jiangsu Pilot Free Trade Zone has gathered more than 4000,4000 biomedical enterprises of various types, with an annual output value of more than <> billion yuan. A market-oriented, rule-of-law, and international business environment has gradually taken shape, and the innovation chain and industrial chain have been deeply connected, further improving the resilience and security of China's industrial and supply chains.

"The linkage development of the pilot free trade zone has expanded the breadth and depth of institutional innovation, enriched the scenarios for the application of free trade policies, and expanded the dividend effect of free trade." Yang Zhengwei, Director General of the Department of Coordination of Free Trade Zone Port Construction of the Ministry of Commerce, said that the respective pilot trade zones will strengthen linkage in promoting industrial development, promote the open development and coordinated layout of characteristic industries, and achieve effective allocation of resources in a wider range.

More explorations are being carried out in the "test field".

"Test field" is expensive in daring to be the first, and it is expensive in the word "try".

The Achievement Exhibition lists a long list of "the first in the country": the first wholly foreign-owned public fund company, the first wholly foreign-owned automobile manufacturing enterprise, the first wholly foreign-owned non-academic vocational training institution, the first wholly foreign-owned ship management company... Focusing on dozens of fields such as manufacturing and finance, a number of national initiatives have been implemented, and the pilot free trade zone has become a "pioneer" in China's opening up to the outside world.

While the list of "firsts in the country" continues to expand, the "negative list" continues to shorten:

Negative List for Cross-border Trade in Services – In July 2021, China's first negative list for cross-border trade in services was launched in Hainan to promote better alignment between the management model of trade in services and international high-standard economic and trade rules.

Negative List for Foreign Investment Access – The negative list for foreign investment access in the Pilot Free Trade Zone, which was first implemented in Shanghai, has been reduced from 7 items to 190 items now, and the manufacturing industry has been reduced to zero, raising the level of openness of foreign investment access to a new level.

A large number of reform pilot experiences have been introduced to more fertile soil. 7 batches of reform pilot experience, 4 batches of best practice cases, and 302 institutional innovation achievements..."A prominent feature of China's exploration of the construction of pilot free trade zones is the sharing of reform dividends and the benefits of opening up. In front of the digital wall of the achievement exhibition, the exhibitors commented.

Based on the new starting point, the "experimental field" will better serve the national strategy. The Beijing Pilot Free Trade Zone will build a pilot zone for the expansion and opening up of the service industry and a pilot zone for the digital economy, and build a high-level opening up platform for the coordinated development of Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei; The Guangdong Pilot Free Trade Zone has taken the lead in exploring new models of economic cooperation between Guangdong, Hong Kong and Macao to tap the potential of reform; Hainan Free Trade Port Promotes the Construction of Free Trade Port with Chinese Characteristics... The pilot free trade zone has been integrated with major national strategies such as the coordinated development of Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei, the development of the Yangtze River Economic Belt, the integrated development of the Yangtze River Delta, and the construction of the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area.

From east to west, more "test fields" are being cultivated.

Shortly before the opening of this year's CIIE, the State Council issued the Overall Plan for the China (Xinjiang) Pilot Free Trade Zone, and the Xinjiang Pilot Free Trade Zone was established on November 11, becoming the 1nd pilot free trade zone in China. In this investment promotion activity, the Xinjiang Pilot Free Trade Zone, which has the geographical advantage of "connecting five ports to eight countries and connecting Europe and Asia", made a grand appearance to promote Xinjiang's resource endowment, investment environment and policy opportunities to enterprises from all over the world, and the response was enthusiastic.

After an extraordinary decade, the pilot free trade zone has ushered in more new tasks.

The Ministry of Commerce and the relevant persons in charge of their respective pilot trade zones look forward to the future of the "experimental field" in the investment promotion activities——

The Shanghai Pilot Free Trade Zone will focus on key areas to carry out greater stress testing; The Changsha area of the Hunan Pilot Free Trade Zone will strengthen the construction machinery industry with institutional innovation; The Qianhai Shekou Area of Shenzhen in the Guangdong Pilot Free Trade Zone will introduce special policies in the fields of artificial intelligence and bulk commodity trade..."Investing in China is investing in the future!" Guo Tingting, Vice Minister of Commerce, said that the pilot free trade zone is an important platform for China to promote high-level opening up at a new starting point, "sincerely welcome investors from all over the world to invest in the pilot trade zone and share the historical opportunities and dividends of Chinese-style modernization." She said. (Reporter Wang Wenzheng)

Source: People's Daily Overseas Edition