Call for greater opening-up in Lingang, Waigaoqiao

Chen Huizhi
Deputies to the Shanghai People's Congress are calling for greater opening-up and institutional innovation for the Lingang and Waigaoqiao areas of the free trade zone.
Chen Huizhi

Deputies to Shanghai People's Congress called for greater opening-up and institutional innovation for Lingang and Waigaoqiao.

The calls came during a discussion on the further reform and opening of the Pudong New Area on Monday during the fifth session of the 15th Shanghai People's Congress.

Wu Jian, a partner of Duan & Duan Law Firm, said Lingang has great potential to improve its legal services for a better business environment.

Lingang, he said, could become an international arbitration center on a par with Singapore, Hong Kong and London.

“So far, Lingang has allowed overseas arbitration agencies to set up offices, but it could potentially allow them to carry out concrete services there, with the support of the National People’s Congress,” he said.

Wu also called for the establishment of a special international finance court and a court that deals with civil and commercial lawsuits involving overseas subjects.

“Through the courts’ work, a team of domestic and international experts who are familiar with international trade rules and experienced in legal affairs can be gathered to serve Lingang, which is a key experimental ground for China to take part in international economic governance,” he said.

Liu Hong, director of Shanghai Waigaoqiao Free Trade Zone Group Co, said the new policies meant for Lingang could be implemented in the other parts of the free trade zone, of which Waigaoqiao is a part.

“Waigaoqiao has a large economic volume with miscellaneous industries and complete industrial chains, a high concentration of companies, a variety of business modes and diversified market demands, which is conducive to the application of the new policies to concrete projects,” he said.

Liu also hoped for more support from the government for offshore trade and cross-border e-commerce with policies in tax rules and foreign exchange regimes.

Fan Zheng, vice general manager of Shanghai Patent & Trademark Law Office LLC, said intellectual property protection services can be improved in more ways.

He called for an expansion of the China (Pudong) Intellectual Property Protection Center to make it serve more businesses and suggested an exploration of the development of financial services regarding intellectual property in Pudong.

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