Chinanews client, Beijing, September 21st (Reporter Li Jinlei) Expanded again!

The big family of China's free trade zone ushered in 3 new members.

  On September 21, the State Council issued a notice on the overall plan for the Beijing, Hunan, and Anhui Pilot Free Trade Zones and the expansion plan of the Zhejiang Pilot Free Trade Zone.

So far, the number of China's free trade zones has increased to 21.

China has established 3 new free trade zones.

3 new free trade zones established

  From the perspective of location layout, the scope of implementation of the Beijing Free Trade Zone is 119.68 square kilometers, covering three areas: technology innovation area 31.85 square kilometers, international business service area 48.34 square kilometers (including Beijing Tianzhu Comprehensive Free Trade Zone 5.466 square kilometers), high-end industrial area 39.49 square kilometers.

  The implementation area of ​​the Hunan Free Trade Zone is 119.76 square kilometers, covering three areas: Changsha area 79.98 square kilometers, Yueyang area 19.94 square kilometers, and Chenzhou area 19.84 square kilometers.

  The implementation scope of Anhui Free Trade Zone is 119.86 square kilometers, covering three areas: Hefei area 64.95 square kilometers, Wuhu area 35 square kilometers, and Bengbu area 19.91 square kilometers.

  In addition, the extension area of ​​Zhejiang Free Trade Zone covers 119.5 square kilometers, covering three areas: Ningbo area 46 square kilometers, Hangzhou area 37.51 square kilometers, and Jinyi area 35.99 square kilometers.

The picture shows the China (Zhejiang) Pilot Free Trade Zone.

Strategic positioning varies

  Although both are new free trade zones, their strategic positioning is different.

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

  The Hunan Free Trade Zone 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-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 Free Trade Zone will accelerate the construction of sources of scientific and technological innovation, the agglomeration and development of advanced manufacturing and strategic emerging industries, and form a new highland of inland opening.

The picture shows an aerial view of the administrative service center of the Lingang New Area of ​​Shanghai Free Trade Zone.

Photo by Zhang Hengwei

The total number of free trade zones expanded to 21

  With the addition of 3 new members, the number of China's free trade zones has now expanded to 21.

  These 21 free trade zones include Shanghai, Guangdong, Tianjin, Fujian, Liaoning, Zhejiang, Henan, Hubei, Chongqing, Sichuan, Shaanxi, Hainan, Shandong, Jiangsu, Hebei, Yunnan, Guangxi, Heilongjiang, Beijing, Hunan and Anhui.

  Looking at the territory of China's free trade zone, from 2013 the Shanghai free trade zone was a standout, and now it has expanded to 21 free trade zones, including dozens of districts. These districts are all "flames" on the map. It has already formed a single prairie fire.

Connecting dots into a line and connecting into a surface, all coastal provinces are free trade zones, realizing full coverage of free trade zones in China's coastal provinces.

Why continue to expand?

  Bai Ming, deputy director of the International Market Research Institute of the Ministry of Commerce, told reporters from that the free trade zone is an experimental field. The original intention is to try first and promote opening up. There is no quota limit, so it is not "planting bonsai". That's it, but "plant nursery".

  Bai Ming believes that there are different needs in different periods, and it is impossible for one free trade zone to undertake all the experimental tasks. China is so large and the situation is so complicated. It is necessary to choose different free trade zones for differentiated system innovation and experience exploration. There are only a large number of them. Only when the high ground of opening up can be established can China's overall opening up level be improved.

Data map: On September 4, 2020, the 2020 China International Trade in Services Fair opened in Beijing.

Photo by China News Agency reporter Tian Yuhao

Beijing Free Trade Zone was born with a special mission

  Among the 21 free trade zones, the Beijing Free Trade Zone has a special mission. The positioning of "a pilot zone for the expansion and opening of the service industry and a digital economy pilot zone" is beyond ordinary cities.

  In fact, the service industry and the digital economy themselves are the two trump cards that Beijing holds.

Statistics show that Beijing's service industry accounts for the highest proportion of GDP in the country, exceeding 80%; Beijing's digital economy accounts for more than 50% of GDP, which also ranks first in the country.

  The opening up of the service industry is an important part of China's all-round opening up.

However, looking at China's overall foreign trade pattern, service trade is still a shortcoming.

  For a long time, the service trade deficit has been the main source of China’s trade deficit. Compared with the tens of trillions of yuan in goods trade, the scale of China’s service trade is only a few trillion yuan, and imports and exports of services account for a small proportion of China’s total imports and exports. To 20%, compared with developed economies such as the United States and Japan, there is a significant gap.

  At this year's upgraded China International Trade in Services Fair, China announced that it will comply with the development trend of digitalization, networking and intelligence, and work together to eliminate the "digital divide" and promote the digitalization of service trade.

China will expand its characteristic service export base and develop new business forms and models of service trade.

  In this process, as a leader in the service industry and digital economy, Beijing naturally does its part.

In the overall plan of the Beijing Free Trade Zone, there is a lot of focus on trade in services and the digital economy, and there are many major measures:

  -Trial implementation of a negative list management model for cross-border trade in services.

In regions where conditions permit, restrictions on access to service trade will be relaxed to the greatest extent.

Provide visa convenience for high-end talents such as research and development, practice, exhibition, exchange, and training.

  ——Support the People's Bank of China Digital Currency Research Institute to establish a financial technology center, build a legal digital currency pilot zone and a digital financial system, rely on the People's Bank of China's trade finance blockchain platform to form a trade finance blockchain standard system, and strengthen regulatory innovation.

  ——Explore the construction of an international information industry and digital trading port.

Under the premise of controllable risks, we will conduct trials in areas such as software real-name certification, data origin label identification, and data product import and export.

  In the opinion of experts, this will give better play to Beijing's leading role in the opening up of China's service industry and drive the formation of a new pattern of higher-level reform and opening up.