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State Council Releases Guiding Opinions of Supporting State-Level New Areas to Deepen Reform and Innovation
On Jan. 17, 2020, the General Office of the State Council released the Guiding Opinions of Supporting State-Level New Areas to Deepen Reform and Innovation and Accelerate the Promotion of High-Quality Development (shortened into the Opinions in the following part).

The Opinions requires the development of new areas to be based on the real economy to constantly enhance competitiveness; related institution and mechanism should be improved; the opening level should be raised to a comprehensive extent; development should respect related rules and the development rhythm should be followed. Regarding accelerating the promotion of high-quality development of new areas, the Opinions puts forward key measures from five perspectives.

First, great efforts should be put into promoting the innovation capacity of science and technology in key fields. The incentive system and achievement protection mechanism for innovation should be improved, in order to create a bunch of preponderant enterprises with famous brands and core intellectual property. Second, emphasis should be laid on accelerating the high-quality development of the real economy. Measures should be adopted to guide new areas to refine and strengthen their leading industry, foster new industry, new forms, and new models. A group of major industrial projects should be introduced into new areas that are accurately targeting local conditions. And a long-term mechanism should be established for industrial transference of the manufacturing industry between the new areas in China’s mid-western, northeastern and eastern regions. Third, new advantages of related institutions and mechanisms should be constantly increased. The management and operation mechanisms of new areas should be optimized. Based on related regulations, the provinces (autonomous regions and municipalities directly under the Central Government) should be allowed to endow new areas with the economic and social administrative power belonging to a prefecture level, and certain economic management power of the provincial level should also be delegated. Fourth, all-around and high-level opening up should be facilitated. The international competitiveness should be further enhanced and the convenience level of investment and trade should be promoted. New areas should be encouraged to replicate and generalize the reform and innovation experiences of pilot free trade zones following relative procedures and based on practical conditions. And to new areas with actual development needs and in line with related requirements, the establishment of comprehensive bonded zones should be supported. Fifth, high-standard construction and management should be boosted. The guidance and restriction of related planning should be stressed, and high-quality development plans should be formulated. Efforts should be put into exploring high-grade city governance methods and promoting the refined management level.

The Opinions also emphasizes that related responsible entities should be clarified and the work concerning the high-quality development of new areas should be supported with great efforts. What’s more, related departments should strengthen their work relating to guidance and support, dynamic tracking, and scientific assessment of the new area development, and solve the difficulties and problems in the development.  

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