Pilot FTZs under spotlight at CPPCC National Committee briefing

Updated: 2021-10-30chinadaily.com.cn

The National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC) convened its 29th briefing session on issues of major concern on Oct 26, focusing on promoting high-quality development of pilot free trade zones (FTZs).

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The National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC) convenes its 29th briefing session on issues of major concern on Oct 26. [Photo/cppcc.gov.cn]

Zheng Jianbang, vice-chairman of the CPPCC National Committee and also executive vice-chairman of the Central Committee of the Revolutionary Committee of the Chinese Kuomintang (RCCK), attended the meeting. 

Wang Shouwen, vice-minister of commerce and also the deputy China international trade representative, said China has built 21 pilot FTZs and preliminarily established a policy and institutional framework for such zones. Over the past eight years, innovative practices and world-leading industrial clusters have been seen in the FTZs. 

Wang said the Ministry of Commerce will line up with high-level international economic and trade rules, actively promote institutional innovation for pilot FTZs, give them greater autonomy in launching reforms, buttress the ecosystem for reform and innovation, and support such zones in acting as role models and pioneers in the country's reform and opening-up. 

In his speech, Sun Yuning, deputy head of the General Administration of Customs, hailed the progress made in introducing new ways of supervision, as well as liberalizing and facilitating trade and investment in pilot FTZs. He said the administration will continue to pursue institutional innovation, improve customs services, and give priority to key issues. 

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The National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC) convenes its 29th briefing session on issues of major concern on Oct 26. [Photo/cppcc.gov.cn]

Gao Gao, deputy secretary-general of the National Development and Reform Commission, summarized the commission's active and constant efforts to develop pilot FTZs and achievements since 2013, such as establishing an investment administration system centered on the management of negative lists for foreign investment access, as well as improving security reviews of foreign investment. 

During the 14th Five-Year Plan period (2021-25), pilot FTZs should better align with the country's major strategies, integrate the needs for opening-up and security in their development, increase stress tests, make breakthroughs in institutional systems, and form a greater synergy of reform, opening-up and innovation, said Gao. 

During the briefing, CPPCC National Committee members talked with the government officials over a variety of issues ranging from local independent innovation capacity and measures to improve the supporting mechanisms for the negative lists for foreign investment access to trials of digital trade.


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