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State Council approves plan for pilot free trade zone in Liaoning

Updated: Mar 31,2017 3:00 PM

State Council has released a circular to guide the pilot free trade zone in Northeast China’s Liaoning province, in a bid to expand opening-up and revitalize the Northeast region.

According to the plan, the free trade zone will be built into a trade park with high-end industries, convenient investment and trade facilities, improved finance services, and highly efficient supervision methods within three to five years.

Covering an area of 119.89 square kilometers, the free trade zone contains three districts in the cities of Dalian, Shenyang and Yingkou.

Industries such as advanced equipment manufacturing, recycling economy and shipping will be promoted in Dalian; modern service industries concerning financing and logistics and advanced equipment manufacturing such as motors and their components and aviation equipment will be mainly developed in Shenyang, and Yingkou will be mainly responsible for cross-border e-commerce, finance and emerging strategic industries such as new generation information technology.

To meet the goals, the circular urged expanding reform in administrative management system, building a more convenient business environment and improving the level of utility for foreign capital. Foreign investment will be treated the same as domestic enterprises, and a negative list will also be used.

For outbound investment, the circular encouraged companies in the zone to “go global” with governmental efforts in improving policy support, service security and risk prevention systems.

To promote the transformation and upgrades in trade methods, the circular urged making international trade easier by improving the “single window” trade method and international trade service system.

Innovation and opening-up were needed in the finance field. It encouraged promoting the cross-border RMB conversion, further simplifying procedures for current accounts, improving the finance support for revitalizing the Northeast region and setting up and improving the prevention system for financial risks.

In addition, industrial structures in the Northeast region will also be readjusted. Reform of State-owned enterprises will be increased, and industrial upgrades and transformation will be promoted. Enterprises in the free trade zone will be encouraged to develop value-added services such as renting equipment, providing solutions and remote consultations.

The pilot zone also should help promote integration in the Northeast region. It should strengthen cooperation with other provinces in research and design, production and sales, logistics, talent exchanges and educational training.

Besides the internal cooperation, the pilot zone should also expand economic cooperation with regions in Northeast Asia. With its location advantage, the Liaoning pilot zone should increase international production capacity and equipment manufacturing cooperation with countries along the Belt and Road Initiative and the countries in Northeast Asia.

The circular also urged speeding up the construction of an international shipping center in Dalian, multiple transportation methods in Yingkou and cross-border rails in Shenyang.

To ensure the measures are implemented, the plan proposed several guarantee measures, including strengthening regulation support and providing preferential tax policies.