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State Council: To Establish 6 New Pilot Free Trade Zones
On Aug. 26, 2019, the State Council released the General Plan of Pilot Free Trade Zones in China (Shandong), (Jiangsu), (Guangxi), (Hebei), (Yunnan), and (Heilongjiang).

According to the General Plan, a major decision is made by the Central Committee of CPC and the State Council to establish 6 pilot free trade zones in Shandong, Jiangsu, Guangxi, Hebei, Yunnan, and Heilongjiang, and it is a strategic measure to further facilitate the reform and opening up at a new era. It is required that the construction of the pilot free trade zones should follow the principle of constructing socialism with Chinese characteristics at the new era that is advocated by Xi Jinping, adhere to new development concepts and high-quality development, actively serve for and integrate into major national strategies, and support the general strategic layout of opening up, so as to build the pilot free trade zones into a new highland.

The General Plan also puts forward differentiated reform tasks for the pilot zones. For the Shandong pilot free trade zone, specific measures are put forward for fostering new industrial modes of trade, accelerating the development of a featured marine industry, and exploring the economic cooperation pattern between China, Japan, and Korea. For the Jiangsu pilot free trade zone, the emphases are laid upon promoting the overseas investment cooperation level, enhancing the support of finance to the substantial economy, and upon encouraging creative development of the manufacturing industry. For the Guangxi pilot free trade zone, efforts should be put into establishing a smooth international channel, building up a pilot area for cooperation among members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), and constructing a portal port for connection between land in the West China and the coastal area. For the Hebei pilot free trade zone, measures should be adopted to carry out large-amount international commodity trading, support the opened development of biological medicine and the life health industry. For the Yunnan pilot free trade zone, the focus should be on the innovation of economic cooperation pattern in areas along the territorial boundary and the enhancement of international cooperation in the field of science and technology. And for the Heilongjiang pilot free trade zone, specific measures are put forward to accelerate the transition and upgrading of the substantial economy and the construction of a transportation and logistics hub orienting on Russia and Northeast Asia. What’s more, the General Plan stresses that during the construction process of pilot free trade zones, the awareness of the bottom line and potential risks should be enhanced and the mechanism of risks control and disposal should be improved, so as to realize a stable, safe, and high-efficiency regional operation and maintain the national and social security effectively. 

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