July 23, 2018

Shanghai FTZ to mark its 5th anniversary with completion of v3.0 reform program

Shanghai Free Trade Zone is set to complete its version 3.0 reform program ahead of schedule as an accomplishment to greet its 5th anniversary in September.

In March 2017, the State Council of China issued the Shanghai Free Trade Zone version 3.0’s plan to deepen the reforms in the FTZ, specifying 98 major reform missions.

By the end of 2017, Shanghai had pushed forward all the 98 reforms and completed more than 76 percent of them.

In September 2013, Shang Free Trade Zone was established and it incorporated four special Customs supervised areas with a total floor area of 287,800 square meters, including the Waigaoqiao Bonded Area, Waigaoqiao Bonded Area Logistics Park, Yangshan Bonded Port Area and Pudong Airport Comprehensive Bonded Area.

The Shanghai FTZ was established as a testing field for further opening the Chinese markets and promoting the reforms. Shanghai was also the forerunner of the management system of a negative list for foreign investment, facilitated project registration process, the “doing business first, registering later” mechanism, the subscription capital system, centralized registration and easy cancellation.

Another major innovative policy that the FTZ has introduced is the free trade account system, on which the FTZ has established convertible capital projects. The system has promoted the interest rate liberalization and the internationalization of RMB.

So far, 70,700 free trade accounts have been opened in the FTZ, involving more than 110 countries and regions, and more than 27,000 domestic and foreign companies.

As of now, Shanghai FTZ has 54,000 newly-registered companies, five times more monthly registration number than the time when the FTZ was officially opened; 9,900 of which are newly-registered companies with foreign investment, accounting for nearly 20 percent of the total company number in the FTZ.

In April 2015, the Shanghai FTZ extended into Lujiazui financial sector, Jinqiao Development Zone, and Zhangjiang Hi-Tech Industrial Development Zone, expanding the total floor area of Shanghai FTZ to 120.72 square kilometers.

The Single Window mechanism for international trade was introduced in the FTZ in 2017, and its function modules has been increased from six to nine, covering 23 different government departments.

Now, the single windows in the FTZ are handling 100 percent of Shanghai’s ports goods and ship declarations. The single window platform’s users have reached more than 5,800, and they serve more than 24,000 companies.

Through information-sharing mechanisms, comprehensive administrative law enforcement, and credit management system, the Shanghai FTZ has always focused on the risk preventions of the reforms. During its four-year operation, the Shanghai FTZ has never made systematic and regional risks.

In the Pudong New Area, the Shanghai Municipal Government Integrated Companies Service Platform has incorporated 327 services, reducing 85 percent of the procedures handling time for companies.

Many of Shanghai FTZ’s reforms and results have been adopted in other FTZs, national autonomous innovative demonstration areas, and national hi-tech industrial development zones across the country, such as the 116 administrative approval items of the “doing business first and registering later” mechanism.

Also, the Shanghai FTZ’s foreign investment registration management system, and other trade-facilitating mechanisms such as “entering into the zone then declaring later” mechanism, one declaration for multiple entries and exits of goods have been first adopted in the Yangtze River Delta region and then the whole country.

The Shanghai FTZ will complete all the FTZ version 3.0’s reforms and deepen the joint-action mechanisms with multiple government departments. And the city will work out a new round of reform policies for the FTZ.