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Liaoning FTZ unveils steps to improve business environment

Liu Zhihua
Updated: Nov 22,2018 9:23 AM     China Daily

The China (Liaoning) Pilot Free Trade Zone will come out with more measures to improve the overall environment at the FTZ and make it more appealing to businesses, a senior local official said.

“We have made great efforts in institutional mechanism reform and innovation to unlock the full potential of Liaoning and also improve the overall facilities,” said Wang Enbin, deputy director of the Free Trade Zone office of Liaoning province.

“We will focus on reforms, innovation, high-quality development, and opening-up, to give the FTZ more autonomy and make it a pillar of the province’s opening-up.”

The FTZ will undertake more than 90 percent of the 123 pilot tasks outlined in an overall plan by the end of this year. A total of 96 tasks, or 78 percent on the to-do list, have already been fulfilled, said Wang.

The FTZ will also implement the pre-entry national treatment and negative list management to boost trade activities. In addition, it will broaden financial market cooperation so as to attract and facilitate the development of more financial enterprises, in line with the central government principles and policies. Moreover, it will seek to further serve and participate in the Belt and Road Initiative.

The FTZ will align with the construction of the Belt and Road comprehensive experimental zone and the China and Central and Eastern European “16+1” economic and trade cooperation demonstration zone in Liaoning province.

It will accelerate the construction of a Northeast Asia international shipping center out of Dalian, a Northeast Asia innovation center out of Shenyang, the sea-rail combined transport channel in Yingkou, and the cross border railway in Shenyang, to increase the frequency and freight volume of the trains between China and Europe, for closer connections with more countries and cities.

The FTZ is also establishing mutually beneficial and cooperative mechanisms with 18 key industrial areas in the province.

Since its establishment in April 2017, the FTZ has enacted 25 reform and innovation steps, which will be promoted throughout Liaoning province.

“The FTZ’s reform and innovation efforts have yielded remarkable progress in optimizing and simplifying custom clearance procedures, deepening reform in State-owned enterprises, and strengthening cooperation with Northeast Asian countries and regions,” Wang said.

Till Nov 10, more than 33,300 enterprises had registered in the FTZ since its establishment, with total registered capital of about 498 billion yuan ($71.73 billion), according to statistics from the FTZ office.

In the FTZ, companies can go through all the customs clearance procedures at any customs office if they have clearance forms issued by the inspection and quarantine authorities.

The FTZ has also lowered the criteria for the direct transportation of seaborne cargo, to develop entrepot trade, and improved abilities to deal with customs clearance, transportation and other services for oversized and overweight goods.

Time spent on customs clearance by some key companies has dropped from three to four days to less than one day, while costs have fallen by 40 percent, the province’s FTZ office said.

Intel Semiconductor (Dalian) Ltd is one of the companies that has benefited enormously from innovation and reforms in the FTZ.

Currently, the company needs only about two hours to transport goods to its factory in Dalian city from Hong Kong, on the basis of immediate and all-weather customs clearance service provided by the FTZ.

The company’s goods circulation speed has increased by 20 percent, together with a “geometrical” increase in the number of goods circulated, it said.