Market access relaxed in 11 pilot free trade zones
The State Council released a notice on Jan 9 to alter 15 regulations and documents for the 11 existing pilot free trade zones, a move to boost the reform and opening-up policy.
According to the document, 11 regulations, two State Council documents and another two documents administered by its departments, were temporarily adjusted in the FTZs.
Foreign banks are no longer required to apply for renminbi business after one year of operation, the notice said. Foreign-invested urban rail projects no longer have to use at least 70 percent domestic equipment.
Foreign investors are allowed to establish single-ownership businesses to design, manufacture and repair civil aviation aircraft of 6 metric tons, or with a capacity of less than nine seats. The investment ratio is canceled for the design and manufacturing of helicopters weighing 3 or more tons.
Foreign businesses are allowed to launch sole-ownership ventures for operations in areas such as international shipping, goods unloading and container stations. They can hold 51 percent of shares in international shipbroker businesses in joint ventures and cooperation, meaning they can control the business.
Foreign investors are allowed to establish entertainment venues to provide services in free trade zones, while foreign investors and those from Taiwan can create performance agencies to provide services in provinces and municipalities in which free trade zones have been built. The notice also urged related departments and governments of the 11 provincial regions, where the free trade zones are established, such as Shanghai and Fujian, Zhejiang and Henan provinces, to adjust local regulations to adapt to the changes made by the central government.
Nation’s top scientific awards announced
The State Council has granted awards to individuals and institutions that made outstanding contributions to China’s scientific and technological progress, economic and social development and modernization of national defense.
Approved by the State Council and signed by President Xi Jinping, academics Wang Zeshan and Hou Yunde were awarded the 2017 State Pre-eminent Science and Technology Award, the nation’s highest scientific award.
In total, 271 projects were honored with national awards, including 35 given the State natural science award, 66 for national technological invention awards and 170 for the national science and technology progress awards.
Seven foreign scientists won international science and technology cooperation prizes.
The State Council urged scientific and technological professionals to learn from Wang and Hou to build China into an innovation-driven country and make more contributions to the country’s social and economic development.
Shandong to boost new momentums of growth
The State Council approved a guideline to set up a comprehensive pilot zone for new growth momentum in Shandong province, according to a notice released on Jan 10.
Guided by Xi Jinping’s Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era, the pilot zone should focus on the real economy and develop new technologies, industries and business models, which should be supported by new production factors such as information and new technologies, the guideline said. An industrial system, in which the real economy, technological innovation, modern finance and human resources, should be coordinated, should be established to achieve higher-quality, more efficient, fairer and more sustainable development, it added.
The pilot zone will center on core cities of Jinan, Qingdao and Yantai, supported by 14 other cities, provincial economic and technological development zones, high-tech development zones and special zones overseen by the customs authorities, the guideline said.
The provincial government of Shandong should strengthen its leadership and improve the working mechanism to ensure all targets are realized as scheduled, the guideline said. All major policies and construction projects must be approved in accordance with legal procedures, the document added.