Lingang plan for innovation, liberalization

Li Xinran
Industrial plan for the Lingang Special Area mainly centers on the area's industrial development over the next five years but has a long-term goal by 2035.
Li Xinran

An industrial plan for the Lingang Special Area was released on Thursday focusing on further liberalization in innovative industries, international trade, science and technology and finance.

It has focuses on the agglomeration of cutting-edge industries, global technology trade, trade liberalization and cross border free convertibility of the yuan under the capital account.

Lingang, which stands at the forefront of China’s next stage of reform and opening-up, will enhance its functional construction, form overwhelming prominence in innovation industries, and strengthen institutional arrangements and agglomeration of all sorts of resources to promote industry and city integration, regional integration, onshore and offshore integration, according to the plan recently approved by the Shanghai government.

The plan mainly centers on Lingang’s industrial development in the next five years but has a long-term goal by 2035, said Liu Ping, chief engineer of the Shanghai Commission of Economy and Informatization.

“According to the principle of ‘overall planning and combination of long-term and near-term development,’ the plan focuses on the development of the startup area of 119.5 square kilometers, the coordinated development of 386 square kilometers of surrounding areas in Lingang, and an overall area of 873 square kilometers by 2035, including Fengxian, Pudong and Minhang for the construction of a special economic functional zone,” Liu said.

He said the agglomeration of cutting-edge industries will be initiated in the startup area while expanding the dominant position of the Yangshan Special Comprehensive Bonded Area, and focus on cultivating and developing international supply chain management, international high-end manufacturing, and a cross-border comprehensive service industry.

With Pudong International Airport and Yangshan Deep-Water Port as two wings, the town on the shore of East China Sea will lead the regional development of Yangtze River Delta and actively participate in the global economy, Liu said.

Lingang also shoulders the mission of China’s innovation-driven development and plays a key role in fulfilling Shanghai’s ambition to become an innovation center with global influence, said Chen Hongkai, an inspector with the city’s Science and Technology Commission. Hence, the allocation of resources will further incline to Lingang, Chen said. 

Additionally, a global technology transformation network is being built in Lingang. At the end of last year, Shanghai had built a cross-border technology trade center in Lingang, featuring two breakthroughs. One is to facilitate the settlement of cross-border technology transactions, the other is a financing platform to support cross-border technology trade, Chen said.

Trade liberalization is another major aspect of the plan. Shen Weihua, deputy director of the commerce commission, told Shanghai Daily that the implementation of more competitive policies and measures for investment and trade liberalization and facilitation will target the supply, industrial and value chains to build Lingang into the most liberalized and convenient high ground of international trade.

Tao Changsheng, chief economist of Shanghai’s Financial Regulatory Bureau, said Lingang leads the way in the further opening up of the financial sector and will further promote yuan liberalization and the free convertibility of the yuan under the capital account.

“Lingang will attract fund management centers of multinational conglomerates, pilot the integration of domestic and foreign currency for cross-border fund pool, promote the convertibility of yuan under capital account, expand the cross-border use of yuan, and form a more convenient cross-border fund management system,” Tao said.

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