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August 07, 2019

China unveils Lingang plan that will rival world's most competitive FTZs

China on Tuesday announced the expanding of its Shanghai free trade zone in its latest major strategic move for further opening-up.

The addition of the Lingang area is a major strategic decision made by the Communist Party of China Central Committee to further opening up, Vice Commerce Minister Wang Shouwen told a press conference yesterday.

It also demonstrates China’s clear stand to adhere to all-round opening up in the new era and an important measure taken to actively lead the healthy development of economic globalization, Wang said.

China on Tuesday announced the expanding of its Shanghai free trade zone in its latest major strategic move for further opening-up.

The addition of the Lingang area is a major strategic decision made by the Communist Party of China Central Committee to further opening up, Vice Commerce Minister Wang Shouwen told a press conference yesterday.

It also demonstrates China’s clear stand to adhere to all-round opening up in the new era and an important measure taken to actively lead the healthy development of economic globalization, Wang said.

The new Lingang section will match the standard of the most competitive free trade zones worldwide and implement opening-up policies and systems with strong global market competitiveness, according to an overall plan for the new Lingang area of the China (Shanghai) Pilot Free Trade Zone issued by the State Council, or the cabinet.

Lingang, with a start-up area of 119.5 square kilometers, will facilitate overseas investment and capital flows and realize the free flow of goods, according to the plan.

“The new area is not just a simple expansion of the existing free trade zone and a copy of existing policies. It is comprehensive, profound and fundamental institutional innovation and reform,” Chen Yin, executive vice mayor of Shanghai, told the press briefing.

Special zone

The area, administered like a special economic zone, will establish an institutional system with its focus on investment and trade liberalization and set up an open industrial system with global competitiveness, according to the plan.

It will strive to become a business cluster for international business, cross-border financial services, frontier technology research and development and cross-border services trade, and speed up the industrial upgrading of existing companies.

The Yangshan comprehensive bonded area will be set up there, and the area will also pilot free capital inflows and outflows and free capital conversion.

Income tax shall be levied at a reduced rate of 15 percent within five years from its establishment for qualified enterprises engaged in manufacturing and R&D in key fields including integrated circuits, artificial intelligence, biomedicine and civil aviation, says the plan.

Shanghai will also set up a fund of 100 billion yuan (US$14.2 billion) in five years to support the development of the new area, said Chen.

The plan says the new area will be granted greater administration power for self-development, self-reform and self-innovation, and regularly promote its experience to spearhead a new round of reform and opening-up of the Yangtze River Delta.

Apart from serving the Belt and Road Initiative and the Yangtze River Economic Belt, the new area is also designed to promote the coordinated development, reform and opening-up of the Yangtze River Delta, said Wang.

China’s economy faces complicated external situations and to improve industrial competitiveness and move up the value chain, the boost of scientific and technological innovation capacity is the only way, said Yin Chen, secretary general of the

Shanghai Free Trade Zone Comprehensive Research Institute with Fudan University.
With more openness, the new area can boost Shanghai’s high-end resources allocation ability and better represent the country to take part in global cooperation and competition, said Yin.