The Six New Free Trade Zones are calling for a new pattern of opening up to the outside world and accelerating its formation

 The Six New Free Trade Zones are calling for a new pattern of opening up to the outside world and accelerating its formation

Prior to this, the first financial and economic journalist found that since this year, including Shandong, Yunnan and other provinces in the government work report have mentioned the construction of free trade pilot area.

This requires, on the one hand, to strengthen the further self-opening, continuous opening and greater opening of the FTA pilot area; on the other hand, to make the replication and promotion of FTA pilot area faster and more efficient.

Two months later, on June 28, Xi Jinping announced at the summit of the leaders of the Group of Twenty (G20) that China would further launch a number of major initiatives on the basis of recent measures. Among them, six new free trade pilot zones will be set up, and a new area of Shanghai free trade pilot zone will be added to speed up the process of exploring and constructing Hainan free trade port.

In this years government work report, Shandong Province proposed to further strengthen the opening up, actively apply for the construction of China (Shandong) free trade pilot zone, and create a new opening-up plateau. Open up the big market in an all-round way.

In addition to clearly proposing the establishment of free trade pilot zones, some provinces have proposed speeding up the replication of the experience of reform and opening up formed by free trade pilot zones.

For example, Guangxi has proposed to take the initiative to dock the Hainan Free Trade Pilot Area and Free Trade Port, and deepen cooperation in tourism, port and shipping, industry and other fields. Implementing the three-year plan of action for improving the quality of international friendship city cooperation. We should actively replicate and popularize the pilot experience of FTA reform.

On the whole, these provinces that have proposed to build free trade pilot zones, or to speed up the replication of experience in free trade pilot zones, also have their own characteristics. For example, Heilongjiang, focusing on the development orientation of creating a window and building four districts, actively constructs an all-round opening pattern focusing on cooperation with Russia.

According to the statistics of Harbin Customs, the total import and export value of Heilongjiang Province reached 174.77 billion yuan in 2018, of which the total import and export value to Russia reached 12.26 billion yuan, an increase of 64.7% over the same period, which was 28.3 percentage points higher than that of Heilongjiang Province in the same period, and 40.7 percentage points higher than that of Chinas import and export to Russia in the same period.

Located in the southwestern border of China, Yunnan Province borders Myanmar, Laos and Vietnam, and is the frontier of Chinas opening up to South Asia and Southeast Asia. The one belt and one road initiative put forward the six major economic corridors to be co constructed. Yunnan has two main provinces. In 2018, Yunnans total foreign trade imports and exports reached 29.895 billion US dollars, including 13.786 billion US dollars to ASEAN and 971 million US dollars to South Asia.

The opening of the one belt and one road has also been incorporated into the open innovation system of the FTA, so the FTA has not only joined the coastal provinces, but also considered the provinces along the border. Chen Bo said.

Deepening the Reform of the Existing Free Trade Zones

When the new batch of free trade pilot zones will be launched, the 12 existing free trade pilot zones are also promoting a new round of measures to deepen reform and opening up.

From July 3 to 4, Secretary of the Hainan Provincial Party Committee Liu Zhigui visited some ministries and commissions in Beijing to report on the progress of Hainans comprehensive deepening of reform and opening up, especially the construction of free trade pilot zones with high standards and quality, and to seek the guidance and support of the ministries and commissions. The specific matters and suggestions that need to be supported are put forward.

In Chen Bos view, the further expansion of the FTA is also a recognition and encouragement of the past achievements of the FTA reform and innovation.

In accordance with the deployment of the Central Committee of the Party and the State Council to deepen reform and opening-up and promote economic transformation and upgrading, the respective trade pilot zones have played a leading role in deepening the reform of release and control uniforms, improving the level of trade and investment facilitation, and promoting innovation and development, and have formed a number of pilot experiences, which have been promoted throughout the country.

The data show that the FTA has replicated and popularized a total of five batches of 171 pilot reform experiences to the whole country, which has led to the continuous optimization of the national foreign investment environment.

At present, China is promoting Sino-US trade negotiations, China-EU, China-Japan-South Korea, RCEP and so on, the core of which is still the content to be explored in the FTA pilot area. Chen Bo said.

Next, the executive meeting of the State Council proposed that we should base ourselves on the overall situation of reform and opening up and the requirements of high-quality development, upgrade the standard international economic and trade rules, and support the free trade pilot zones to take new steps in further opening up independently, continuously and more openly. For example, we should study measures to further relax market access, especially the opening of service industries, in the FTA pilot area, so as to accumulate experience for a higher level of opening up, improve management system and coordination mechanism, and enhance the radiation-driven effect of reform and innovation in the FTA pilot area.