A plan to further reform and open the China (Shanghai) Pilot Free Trade Zone was issued by the State Council on April 20 in a key measure to further pave the way for the country’s comprehensive reform and opening up.
The Shanghai free trade zone will help pioneer China’s reform and innovation development by implementing national strategies such as development of the Yangtze River Economic Zone, exploring new modes of regional economic cooperation, and creating a business environment under the rule of law, according to a statement issued along with the plan.
Management of the negative list will be improved to accelerate the transformation of government’s functions, the plan said.
In this regard the negative list will be promoted as the major mode of management for market access, a change from the previous administrative approval-oriented management. Lists that regulate the power and duties of the government will be drawn up and published, to further clarify the relationship between government and market.
The plan requires a comprehensive supervision system that involves administrative regulation, industrial self-discipline and public participation.
Industry associations and professional service organizations are encouraged to take part in market supervision, it said, and efforts will be undertaken to explore the possibility of introducing third-party organizations to be involved in issues such as a review of enterprise information.
According to the plan, systems of investment management will be innovated to adapt to the deepening reform and opening up, and such efforts will include the further opening up of service and manufacturing industries.
Reforms will be conducted to facilitate the management of foreign and overseas investment.
Pre-project filing will be a key ingredient in management of overseas investment projects, while an improved platform that facilitates overseas investment services will be set up.
The plan also said that innovation regarding trade regulation and the financial system will be actively promoted, and legal and policy guarantees will be strengthened in the zone.