An overall plan for the China (Shaanxi) Pilot Free Trade Zone was issued by the State Council on March 31, in an effort to promote development in China’s western regions and speed up building the Belt and Road Initiative.
The Shaanxi free trade zone will be established to set an example for inland opening up, economic cooperation and cultural exchanges under the Belt and Road Initiative.
The FTZ, covering a total area of 119.95 square km, will include three sections. Each section will be characterized by different functions such as high-tech production, international trade, and sci-tech innovation.
According to the plan, it will serve as a key zone to pave the way for further reform and opening up, by implementing such measures as increasing business reform, streamlining approvals and pushing forward innovation on tax collection services.
It will also enhance the ability to utilize foreign investment through implementing measures that facilitate foreign investment and improve free trade, and encourage more foreign investment to be used in the cutting-edge manufacturing sector, such as high-end equipment manufacturing, information and technologies, new materials and biotech.
More innovative explorations will be made in the financing sector, such as supporting countries along the Belt and Road to use RMB to set up or stake in financial institutes in FTZ.
A coordinated strategy will be launched between inland areas and those along the coast, river or border, to further stimulate economic development of inland areas, especially other provinces in the western regions.
In addition, the plan will expand economic cooperation with countries along the Belt and Road through building transportation, trade and business, and logistic centers, and also push forward innovations in international cooperation on production capacity.