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China unveils Lin-gang plan that will rival world's most competitive FTZs

Shine| Updated: Aug 6, 2019 L M S

The addition of Lin-gang Special Area is a major strategic decision made by the Communist Party of China Central Committee to further opening-up, Vice-Minister for Commerce Wang Shouwen told a news conference on Aug 5.

Wang said the plan demonstrates China's clear stand to adhere to all-round opening-up in the new era and is an important measure taken to actively lead the healthy development of economic globalization.

The new Lin-gang section will match the standard of the most competitive free trade zones worldwide and implement opening-up policies and systems with strong global market competitiveness, according to an overall plan for the new Lin-gang area of the China (Shanghai) Pilot Free Trade Zone (FTZ) issued by the State Council, China's cabinet.

Lin-gang, with a start-up area of 119.5 square kilometers, will facilitate overseas investment and capital flows and realize the free flow of goods, according to the plan.

"The new area is not just a simple expansion of the existing free trade zone and a copy of existing policies. It is comprehensive, profound and fundamental institutional innovation and reform," Chen Yin, executive vice-mayor of Shanghai, told the media briefing.

The China (Shanghai) Free Trade Zone covered 28.78 sq km when it was established in September 2013 and was expanded to 120.72 sq km in December 2014.

In recent years, the Shanghai FTZ has made remarkable progress in its bold exploration of sectors such as investment, trade and finance, and contributed precious experience to the all-around deepening of reforms and high-level opening-up, Wang said.

The area will be built into a special economic function zone with global influence and competitiveness to better serve the country's overall opening-up strategy, the plan says.

"Its status as a special economic function zone means that it is not adding more facilitation but moving toward real investment and trade liberalization," said Shen Yuliang, a researcher with the Institute of World Economics under the Shanghai Academy of Social Sciences.

By 2025, Lin-gang Special Area will have a relatively mature institutional system of investment and trade liberalization and facilitation. By 2035, it will be built into a special economic function zone with strong global market influence and competitiveness, becoming an important platform for the country to integrate into economic globalization.

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