China publishes guideline to promote Shanghai free trade zone
The State Council's latest guideline on promoting the high-standard institutional opening-up of the free trade zone in China's financial capital of Shanghai is expected to lead to the building of a demonstration zone to explore and accumulate related experience for deepening reform and opening-up, said official sources.
The State Council, the country's Cabinet, published a comprehensive plan on Dec.7 with measures to support further development of the Shanghai free trade zone, Xinhua News Agency reported.
In an effort to steadily expand institutional opening-up in terms of rules, regulations, management and standards among other areas, an institutional system and regulatory model will be formed within the designated area of the China (Shanghai) Pilot Free Trade Zone in line with high-standard economic and trade rules, Xinhua said.
Focused on seven aspects, the guideline mentioned 80 measures including speeding up the expansion of opening-up in services trade, improving the level of free trade and facilitating goods trade, thus taking the lead in implementing high-standard digital trade regulations, strengthening intellectual property rights protections, promoting reforms in government procurement, and strengthening the construction of risk prevention and control systems.
For example, financial firms in the free trade zone will be allowed to transmit overseas data they need for daily operations in compliance with regulatory measures, according to the measures.
To accelerate the opening-up of services trade in the FTZ, the plan called for efforts to further open up key sectors such as finance and telecommunications, make cross-border investments and financing easier, support multinationals to set up capital management centers in China, and improve service quality of the telecommunications sector.
Regarding trade in goods, the plan called for improving the management of special imported products such as medical devices and wines, and simplifying quarantine procedures on a trial base in the Shanghai FTZ.
Shanghai is required to take the initiative to establish and improve the institutional innovation mechanism, and solidly promote the implementation of all the measures.
The State Council also urged related government departments to provide active support for implementation of the guideline, and formulate specific suggestions, policies, detailed rules and plans when necessary, and these should be completed within one year from the date of issuance of the guideline.
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