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10 innovative achievements of China's free trade zones in 2018

Updated: Jan 16, 2019 chinadaily.com.cn Print

1. Shanghai issues the country's first service trade negative list

Shanghai, having explored new management modes of cross-border service trade, released a new negative list for cross-border service trade in October 2018, the first of its kind in China.

A total of 159 detailed regulations have been included in the new negative list, covering 31 industries. The new list defined cross-border service trade as "commercial activities delivered by overseas service providers to consumers in the China (Shanghai) Pilot Free Trade Zone".

The new management mode will help Shanghai become a leading global city like London and New York and guide the Yangtze River Delta to become a world-class urban area and a new growth pole of the modern global service trade, Zhang Yansheng, principal researcher at the China Center for International Economic Exchanges, said.

2. Shaanxi's Xi'an introduces 'manifest merging', a new customs clearance model

For a long time, every carriage of a freight train needed its own manifest, which was accompanied by a customs declaration form, to clear customs.

To save the time and costs required for companies to ship bulk goods by rail, Xi'an International Trade and Logistic Park, a district of Xi'an Free Trade Zone, and Xi'an Customs introduced a new customs clearance model known as "manifest merging" in May 2018.

Under this model, goods with the same product name, specification, contract, enterprise, batch and category are allowed to use a single manifest to clear customs.

The measure, as an institutional innovation in the field of trade facilitation in China, saves customs clearance fees, shortens customs clearance time, greatly improves the efficiency of customs clearance, and promotes the trade facilitation of goods in inland areas, Jiang Yumei, a researcher, said.

3. Sichuan introduces a new model of transport consolidation

The Qingbaijiang Area of the Sichuan Free Trade Zone has created an innovative cooperation model for inland and border areas by transporting domestic and foreign trade goods in the same train.

For the China Railway Express trains traveling from Chengdu to Europe, domestic and foreign trade goods can share the same train and the containers of domestic trade goods will be replaced in Urumqi by those with foreign trade goods. For the China Railway Express trains traveling back from Europe, the containers of foreign trade goods will be replaced in Urumqi by those with domestic trade goods.

The model solves the China Railway Express problem of "low overload rates, waste of empty containers and high costs"; maximizes the utilization rate of containers; and reduces the operation costs, Wang Junjie, an expert, said.

4. Fujian's Xiamen pilots reform on examination and approval system for construction projects

A sign for the Xiamen Area of China (Fujian) Pilot Free Trade Zone is pictured in Xiamen city, Southeast China's Fujian province, April 1, 2015. [Photo/IC] The Xiamen Area of Fujian Free Trade Zone has reduced the approval process of engineering construction from five stages to three stages.

In addition, eight items that used to require examination and approval now only need to be put on record, while 31 items now apply to a notification commitment system. Some 109 items still require examination and approval through an optimized process with simplified materials.

This pilot work on reforming the project approval system in Xiamen has important practical value. It can integrate management functions, optimize the approval process, build a public platform, reduce approval links, use information technology, and carry out effective supervision afterward according to the needs of enterprises, Ge Shunqi, head of the Institute of International Economics at Nankai University, said.

5. Chongqing explores new supervision patterns

An aerial view of the Chongqing Jiangbeizui Central Business District on June 28, 2018. [Photo/IC] The Chongqing Free Trade Zone implemented several new efficient and convenient supervision models in special customs oversight areas, which include self-filing, self-determined verification periods, self-reporting, self-tax makeup and simplification of business approval procedures.

The practices of the Chongqing Free Trade Zone are not only an innovation of customs supervision, but also important for expanding the scope of optimum allocation of resources, improving the efficiency of resource allocation, and reducing the cost of optimizing resources through a series of reforms, Bai Ming, a researcher at the Chinese Academy of International Trade and Economic Cooperation, said.

6. Zhejiang launches China's first paperless customs clearance port for ships

The Zhejiang Free Trade Zone has explored deep reform on the current customs clearance mode by carrying out a pilot project of "paperless customs clearance for inbound or outbound ships".

It cancels more than 44 out of 70 items and 150 pages of paper materials originally required, and only retains two documents such as crew entry and exit certificates and temporary entry permit applications.

7. Henan's Zhengzhou introduces a new model of cross-border e-commerce supervision

Zhengzhou customs has actively explored a new mode of cross-border e-commerce supervision by allowing e-commerce enterprises in the region to display and sell online-purchased bonded imported goods at specific physical stores outside the region.

Consumers can make online orders after they shop at the physical stores and the goods can be taken away on the spot after they are released by customs.

8. Liaoning's Dalian develops into a shipping financial center in northeast Asia

In order to support Dalian in building a shipping financial center in northeast Asia, the Bank of China has set up China's only professional shipping financing center at its Dalian branch.

In terms of marketing modes, the center will create a linkage effect with shipyards, China Export and Credit Insurance Corp, and intermediaries. In terms of guarantee mode, the center breaks through traditional thinking by proposing a new margin mode.

9. Hubei's Wuhan launches innovative 'insurance-loan linked' financial products

In order to effectively solve the financing problems of small and medium-sized technology-based enterprises, Wuhan Area of Hubei Free Trade Zone has cooperated with insurance companies and banks to launch a series of "insurance-loan linked" financial products according to different financing needs.

With these products, small and medium-sized technology-based enterprises without collateral or guarantees can obtain bank loans only by paying lower premiums to purchase relevant warranty insurance policies.

10. Shaanxi's Xi'an develops an agricultural industrial chain under the Belt and Road Initiative

Xi'an Aiju Grain and Oil Industrial Group has exported China's agricultural technologies to Kazakhstan and further processed the imported agricultural products of Kazakhstan. At the same time, it has taken advantage of Kazakhstan's good land conditions for planting and initial processing.

The China-Kazakhstan agricultural transnational cooperation system has realized coordinated development with North Kazakhstan Province, Alashankou and Xi'an supporting each other and the formation of a whole industrial chain of planting, acquisition, processing, logistics and sales.

National Business Daily contributed to this story

 

 

 

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