(Economic Observation) What is the significance of the further expansion of the China Pilot Free Trade Zone?

  China News Service, Beijing, September 21st, title: What is the significance of the further expansion of the China Pilot Free Trade Zone?

  China News Agency reporter Li Xiaoyu

  On the 21st, China announced the overall plan for the Beijing, Hunan, and Anhui Pilot Free Trade Zones and the expansion plan for the Zhejiang Pilot Free Trade Zone.

So far, the number of pilot free trade zones has increased to 21, covering most of China.

  Under the epidemic, the expansion of the pilot free trade zone has profound implications.

Ensure the security of the industrial chain supply chain

  As the epidemic has caused a major impact on the global industrial chain and supply chain, accelerating the transformation of scientific and technological achievements into "real money" and ensuring the safety and stability of the industrial chain and supply chain have become one of the main considerations for the new layout of China's free trade zone.

  Chinese Vice Minister of Commerce Wang Shouwen said at a press conference held by the Information Office of the State Council that Beijing’s technological innovation momentum is strong, Hunan’s equipment manufacturing industry has a deep accumulation, Anhui’s emerging industries are relatively active, and Zhejiang’s digital economy is booming.

The establishment of new pilot free trade zones or expansion zones in these four regions will reinforce the chain from the source, stabilize the chain, and enhance the advancement, stability and competitiveness of the industrial chain supply chain.

  According to the plan, Beijing will deepen the coordinated development of the industrial chain, and explore the establishment of a diversified industrial docking cooperation model such as headquarters-production bases, joint construction of parks, and overall relocation; Hunan will build innovative platforms, digital economy development, industrial Internet construction, and high-end equipment maintenance Remanufacturing, intellectual property protection and application are carried out to explore and experiment; Anhui aims at the high end of the industry chain, and proposes to advance the layout of future industries such as quantum computing and quantum communication, biological manufacturing, advanced nuclear energy, and accelerate the construction of scientific and technological innovation sources.

Promote higher standards, high quality and openness

  Opening up has always been one of the distinctive features of China's pilot free trade zone.

In the 2020 version of the negative list for investment access in the pilot free trade zone, there are only 30 items that restrict or prohibit foreign investment, which is 80% less than the first negative list for foreign investment access launched in the Shanghai pilot free trade zone in 2013.

  In Wang Shouwen's words, after a series of pilot trials in investment, trade, finance, and personnel mobility, today the pilot free trade zone has become the "region with the highest level of openness" in the country.

  With the current economic globalization encountering "returning waves" and the rise of protectionism in many countries and regions, China's determination to open up has not diminished, but has become more firm.

The further expansion of the pilot free trade zone this time is a strong proof of China's accelerated opening up.

  For example, with regard to the opening up of the financial industry, the Beijing Pilot Free Trade Zone will allow more foreign banks to obtain securities investment fund custody qualifications, and multinational companies can also establish qualified investment companies in China and establish financial companies in compliance with laws and regulations.

In addition, Beijing will explore to give Zhongguancun science and innovation enterprises more cross-border financial options, and innovate corporate foreign debt management methods, and gradually realize the full convertibility of foreign debts of non-financial enterprises in the Zhongguancun National Independent Innovation Demonstration Zone.

  For another example, the Hunan Pilot Free Trade Zone relaxes the application conditions for foreign-invested enterprises to establish investment companies; Anhui proposes to explore the establishment of a transnational technology transfer and intellectual property sharing mechanism that conforms to internationally accepted rules; Zhejiang Pilot Free Trade Zone allows Chinese-funded non- The five-star red flag ship carries out the coastal piggyback business of foreign trade containers with Ningbo Zhoushan Port as a transit.

  According to official data, Beijing, Hunan, Anhui, and Zhejiang have a relatively high level of economic development and a good foundation for opening up. Both the amount of foreign investment and imports and exports accounted for more than one-fifth of China.

Wang Shouwen said that the establishment or expansion of districts in these four places can further release huge potential and development momentum, and help to explore the establishment of a higher level of open economic system under the new situation.

  Analysts believe that China's continued expansion of the pilot free trade zone under the epidemic is sending a clear signal to global investors: No matter how anti-globalization and protectionism are rising, China's established direction for opening up will remain the same, and its determination will not change.