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State Council issues guideline on development zones

Updated: Feb 6,2017 6:39 PM

The State Council has issued a guideline to promote the reform and innovative development of China’s development zones, aimed at improving their leading roles in opening-up and improving the investment environment.

It urged strengthening the overall arrangement of all types of development zones, speeding up their upgrades, adopting innovative mechanisms and improving the management systems and policy support.

The goal is to build the development zones into leading zones for industrial development, pilot zones for high-level business operations, integrated zones for mass entrepreneurship and innovation and pilot zones for open economy and system innovation, forming new engines for the country’s economic growth.

Based on the principles of reform and innovation and led by related plans, the State Council asked to innovate the business models of development zones, spur their vitality and improve the distribution format.

To optimize the format of development zones, they should focus on industrial development, becoming platforms for developing local manufacturing, high-end new technology and productive services, according to the guideline.

Adopting the improvement of the business environment as their top task, the development zones should strive to provide quality services, suitable support facilities and convenient resources to promote economic system reform and transfer government functions.

National zones, such as economic and technical development zones, high-tech industrial development zones and special customs surveillance zones, should play their leading roles by emphasizing advanced manufacturing, strategic new emerging industries and processing trade industries, the guideline said.

It also urged the development zones to actively adapt to international conventions to build themselves into industrial parks with global influences.

Provincial development zones should rely on local resources, integrate industrial elements, and improve the business environment to become regional economic growth poles, driving the upgrades in regional economy.

Coordinating the development zones in eastern, central and western China should also be emphasized, said the guideline. It urged efforts to upgrade the industries in eastern regions, improve the business environment of the central and western regions, and those in northeast regions.

To speed up the transformation and upgrades of development zones, the State Council also urged setting up technology research centers, engineer labs, national key labs and innovation platforms and centers in the qualified zones.

It encouraged development zones to take various measures, such as establishing makerspaces, science parks, enterprise incubators and introducing talent to create a better environment for mass entrepreneurship and innovation.

Optimizing the industrial structure is also an important task. Traditional industries in the development zones should step forward to medium- to high-end development through technological methods. More measures such as integrating information technology and manufacturing, creating more emerging industries, and developing productive services should also be utilized to build the development zones into world-class industry clusters.

Moreover, development zones should also be encouraged to attract foreign investments and undertake international industrial transfers.

Green development is also one important principle of the development zones, so low-carbon, recycling and intensive development are stressed in the guideline.

The State Council urged the government in all regions to set up a unified coordination mechanism for the development zones. It also asked local governments to delegate the economic management powers that can be delegated to the development zones.

Private capital and Public-Private Partnership (PPP) models should be encouraged in the establishment of development zones to diversify its business models, according to the guideline.