Lingang promoting all-round and high-level opening-up

Li Xinran
Lingang has reshaped customs supervision operation processes and improved the functional level of Yangshan Special Comprehensive Bonded Area.
Li Xinran

Lingang has reshaped customs supervision and optimized the operation of Yangshan Special Comprehensive Bonded Area as part of Lingang's efforts to deepen its opening-up.

Yangshan bonded area is the only of its kind in China that initiated a new supervision system of "first-line direct release, second-line unilateral declaration, and no customs account book in the bonded area."

"For enterprises, this kind of 'invisible' supervision can greatly improve the efficiency of customs clearance and reduce costs," Wan Jun, head of free trade division of Shanghai Customs, told Shanghai Daily.

In the first half of this year, goods released in the first-line of Yangshan increased six times compared with the same period a year ago.

In addition, Shanghai Customs has also initiated the "one company, two sites" supervision mode. And Shanghai Aircraft Manufacturing Co is one of those benefiting from the practice that gathers stakeholders closer along the industrial chain.

"The new supervision mode has achieved the integration of enterprise information systems within and outside the bonded area, as well as the integration of supervision subjects and supervision modes for the first time in China," said Wang Xianglong, deputy chief of the system division of the Lingang Special Area Administrative Committee. "It has also explored a new concept of the customs main zoning mode.

"Meanwhile, the development of coastal piggyback business and bonded LNG filling business has effectively driven the development of high-end shipping industry in the special area," Wang added.

At present, 90 percent of the 78 tasks in the overall plan for the Lingang Special Area of the China (Shanghai) Pilot Free Trade Zone have been completed.

More than 260 policies at national, city and area levels have been issued since the establishment of the special area in 2019, forming 87 representative and leading institutional innovations, of which 36 are the first of its kind in China.

Innovation policies such as enterprise access and taxation are implemented to promote the agglomeration of frontier industries.

Lingang is striving to build four core industries – integrated circuits, biomedicine, artificial intelligence and civil aviation; two advanced industries – high-end equipment manufacturing and intelligent new-energy vehicles; and two "future" industries – hydrogen energy and green re-manufacturing. It is laying out and establishing a cutting-edge industrial cluster with key core technologies as the breakthrough point.

Some major industries have made remarkable achievements in the agglomeration of the whole industrial chain in the past three years.

Among them, more than 300 projects have been signed in the frontier science and technology industry, involving a total investment of more than 420 billion yuan (US$61 billion).

The construction of Tesla's Shanghai Gigafactory started in January 2019, and it was put into production that year – such a speed is cheered as "Lingang speed."

Lingang took the lead in carrying out pilot projects to strengthen the implementation of competition policy and commercial system reform.

It relaxed the prior control, improved the supervision during and after the registration, took the lead in implementing the registration and confirmation system of market entities in the special area, promoted the change of the registration of market entities from administrative licensing to administrative confirmation, and changed the substantive review to formal review, so as to reduce the institutional cost of the establishment of market entities.

Tax incentives

Tax preference is a common feature of the world's major free trade zones and free trade ports. The State Administration of Taxation has successively issued a series of policies customized for Lingang and offered attractive tax reduction such as a 15-percent corporate income tax cut for companies in core industries.

Qian Qianying, financial executive director of SenseTime Technology, told Shanghai Daily that tax preference is one important reason for SenseTime to place its supercomputing center and the smart car sector in Lingang.

"It positively affected the future layout of our enterprises, along with the personal income tax break," she said.

The tax policy has become an important growth engine for accelerating the high-quality development of Lingang. Over the past three years, there have been more than 63,000 newly registered enterprises in Lingang, and about 90 startups have been established every day. In 2021, the introduction of domestic talent increased by 216 percent year on year.

Many institutional innovations introduced by the financial regulatory authorities, including the pilot reform of foreign exchange management for cross-border trade and investment, and the facilitation of cross-border settlement and investment and financing, have provided conveniences for enterprises.

Li Jing, general manager of Shanghai Lingang Special Area Cross-border Data Technology Company, said innovation over existing rules is essential to the establishment of a cross-border data flow platform.

"In order to facilitate data flow within the country and above the country borders, the legislation has been improved through the joint efforts of all parties," Li said. "This paves the way for the construction of the data platform in terms of system."

Li said that the pilot of cross-border data flow has begun. It is promoting the coordinated development of international data port and data exchange, exploring the construction of "international board" for data trading, piloting the overseas data trading in Shanghai, and creating a new model of "Shanghai trading and global delivery."

Meanwhile, Lingang opened 549 kilometers of automated driving test roads, providing a good practice field for the development of the intelligent connected vehicles.

The driverless heavy truck of Yangshan Port, driverless buses and taxis will also be put into operation in Lingang.

On August 18, Lingang released the Dishui Lake AI Innovation Port Plan, striving to gather 20,000 to 30,000 AI professionals and 500 enterprises in three years, with the industrial scale rising to 50 billion yuan.

It aims to become a new highland for the development of Shanghai's artificial intelligence industry and an important gathering place for the national artificial intelligence industry.

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