Reform in the China (Guangdong) Free Trade Zone (FTZ) will be deepened to meet advanced international standards and enhance cooperation with Hong Kong and Macao, according to a document released by the State Council on May 24.
The document states that, by 2020, systems should be set up to meet international investment and trade regulations, and to serve the FTZ as an international shipping center, trade center and a model of financial opening-up.
Power delegated to municipal governments by provincial governments will be further delegated to free trade zones. Reform of the commercial system and business registration will be continued, and market supervision will be strengthened.
Meanwhile, market access will be eased and more transparent. The service sector will be open wider to foreign investment. Restrictions on operation periods for foreign-invested enterprises will be canceled, except in special industries.
A world-class “single-window” system for international trade will be set up and connected with national-level single-window regulations. The single-window system will also be introduced to the service trade, including technology trade, outsourcing and maintenance service.
An account management system will be set up in the FTZ. Equity and business cooperation between qualified domestic and foreign financial institutions will be encouraged. Supervision on cross-border capital flow will be improved to crack down on money laundering, tax evasion and terrorist financing.
The document underlines the protection and exploitation of intellectual property rights and rule of law in the FTZ. A cross-department and -region mechanism will be set up on the transfer, reporting and investigation of IPR cases.
Reform on talent management will be promoted. High-level foreign talent will be offered more preferential measures regarding their life, healthcare, children’s education, business and research.
The document also stresses the protection of labor rights and environment.
According to the document, the Guangdong FTZ should become an international shipping center, international trade center and a model of opening-up in financial sector.
Investment in ports along the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road will be expanded to forge a global port chain. The logistics channel via Hong Kong will be streamlined.
The FTZ should become a core hub of the global supply chain for domestic and foreign market, onshore and offshore business, cargo and service trade, and multinational corporations are also encouraged to set up global or regional centers in the FTZ.
It will attract large corporations from home and abroad to build accounting centers there. Research will be continued to enact innovative future exchanges with carbon emission as the first trading category.
Located in South China’s Guangdong province, the FTZ will enhance cooperation with Hong Kong and Macao, according to the document. The three regions will promote free service trade, technology cooperation, and startups by youths, and join hands to participate in the Belt and Road Initiative.