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China maps out development of major border areas

Updated: Jan 7,2016 4:41 PM

The State Council laid out plans to develop major border areas and build a prosperous and stable frontier in a guideline issued on Jan 7.

The major border areas in the guideline include five key pilot development and opening up zones, 72 national-level border ports, 28 border cities, 17 border economic cooperation zones and one cross-border economic cooperation zone.

The guideline stressed that developing the major border areas can not only support economic and social development of these areas, but also help strengthen cooperation with neighboring countries and regions.

It called for more support for livelihood-improving efforts in border areas through job creation, industry development, science and technology innovation and assistance through matching programs.

The guideline also suggested lowering the threshold for entrepreneurship and innovation to allow residents in border areas to register enterprises at “zero cost” and apply for entrepreneurship loans of less than 100,000 yuan ($15,170).

It urged setting up international law enforcement and security cooperation departments and establishing a joint conference mechanism along the border, calling for more cooperation against drugs, terrorism, human trafficking and smuggling.

Authorities should delegate power or cancel government reviews for more items relating to clearance as well as imports and exports at national-level border ports, said the guideline.

Major border areas are encouraged to draw on the experience of Shanghai Pilot Free Trade Zone and try out the foreign investment management mode of pre-establishment national treatment with a negative list.

The business system should be reformed, and industrial and commercial registration should be simplified in major border areas, said the guideline.

It also encouraged processing trade and exports of competitive products in the areas.

Investment of social capital should be promoted to further develop traditional service trades such as tourism, transportation and architecture, said the guideline.

It also suggested establishing an industrial development fund to invest in agriculture, high-tech industries, service industries and tourism that are competitive in the areas.

Local governments are encouraged to set up pilot tourist zones and implement the port visa policy in eligible pilot zones, so that overseas tourists there can be issued certificates for multiple departures and entries every year.