Special area will receive official backing to gain global influence
Shanghai on Wednesday released 40 new favorable policies to support the further development of the 2-year-old Lin-gang Special Area of China (Shanghai) Pilot Free Trade Zone, which is set to become a special economic zone with strong global market influence and competitiveness by 2035.
The new policies will focus on building up a more open industrial system in the Lin-gang Special Area.
According to the central authorities' guidance, Lin-gang will take the lead nationwide to further relax the market entry regulations in finance, value-added telecommunications services, cross-border data transmission, education, medical services, and culture.
The special area also aims to make breakthroughs in key areas like frontier technology industries, new-type international trade, cross-border and offshore finance, and high-end international shipping, said Zhu Zhisong, director of Lin-gang Special Area Administration.
More importantly, a comprehensive set of laws will be introduced in Lin-gang, the first of its kind in the Area, to lay the legal foundation for various reform and innovations in the pipeline, said Zhu.
"Lin-gang should initiate reform and carry out more experiments so that more breakthroughs and innovation results can be nurtured here," he said.
Efforts will be made to provide qualifications to Lin-gang-based companies to import crude oil, said Shen Weihua, deputy director of the Shanghai Municipal Commission of Commerce. The "white list" for imported goods, which are used in biomedicine companies' research and development activities, is expected to be further expanded, he said.
Systematic innovations make up an important part of the newly released policies. The commercial entities' registration and government management systems will be further optimized. The reform of State-owned enterprises in Lingang will be another highlight.
The local administrative committee will help advance their business model, which is centered on capital management, and promote a market-based remuneration system which is in line with SOE characteristics.
Integrated circuits, biomedicine, artificial intelligence and new energy vehicles-the industries that are Lingang's forte-should see substantial growth in the following years if they develop complete industry chains and expand application scenarios of the latest technologies.
Hua Yuan, director of the Shanghai Municipal Development and Reform Commission, said the 40 new policies have been introduced to further support the deepened and differentiated reform currently underway in Lin-gang. Therefore, Lin-gang can serve as a new engine of Shanghai's economic growth.
The government also announced 24 new projects for Lin-gang on Wednesday. Entailing a total investment of 49.7 billion yuan ($7.7 billion), the new projects cover sectors like residential property, logistics and warehousing, transportation, business and environmental protection.
In the run-up to Wednesday's announcement, a signing ceremony was held on Tuesday where representatives of 42 companies and institutions, agreed to locate their new projects in the special area. These will entail a total investment of 28 billion yuan.
With an initial area of 119.5 square kilometers, the Lin-gang Special Area was officially included in the Shanghai Free Trade Zone on Aug 20, 2019, which is the second expansion of the FTZ aimed at advancing China's higher-level opening-up.
Over the past two years, Lingang has attracted 765 new projects with total investment topping 447.8 billion yuan. Up to 2,200 foreign-invested companies set up operations in Lin-gang.