The State Council of China has officially approved to establish China (Shanghai) Pilot Free Trade Area (FTA) recently, which consists of four areas under special customs supervision, including Shanghai Waigaoqiao Bonded Zone, Waigaoqiao Bonded Logistics Park, Yangshan Bonded Port and Shanghai Pudong Airport Free Trade Zone, with the total area of 28.78 square kilometers.
Establishing China (Shanghai) Pilot FTA is an important measure to follow the new trend of global trade and economic development, and implement a more proactive strategy of opening up. The major task is to explore new approaches for China’s opening up, accelerate the transformation of government functions and reform of administrative system, push forward the transformation of economic growth pattern, and optimize the economic structure, so as to promote development, reform and innovation through opening up, and facilitate the development of the whole country with experience of replication and propagation. Establishing China (Shanghai) Pilot FTA will be conductive to fostering new international competitive advantages and building a new platform for cooperation and development with other countries, so as to explore new opportunities for economic growth, and build up an upgraded version of the Chinese economy.
In the first half of 2013, MOFCOM, Shanghai Municipal People’s Government and relevant departments of the State Council worked out, on the basis of in-depth research, an Overall Plan for China (Shanghai) Pilot Free Trade Area (Draft), and submitted to the State Council for approval. The main contents include further deepening the reform and accelerating the transformation of government functions, exploring innovations on models of trade and investment management, expanding opening up of service sector and accelerating the transformation of trade development mode, deepening the opening up and innovation of banking sector and creating an institutional environment including supervision and administration fit for the pilot FTA. On July 3, the executive meeting of the State Council discussed and approved the draft plan in principle.
The State Council has submitted to the NPC Standing Committee to deliberate on adjusting some of the administrative examination and approval items in China (Shanghai) Pilot FTA so as to push forward accelerating the transformation of government functions, enhance administration on Foreign Investments Negative List, and adopt an innovative model for opening up in the Pilot FTA. The overall program of China (Shanghai) Pilot FTA will be announced after going through relevant legal procedures.
Source: Ministry of Commerce Website; http://english.mofcom.gov.cn/article/newsrelease/significantnews/201308/20130800269738.shtml