State Council releases guideline on Pudong's high-level reform and opening-up

Li Qian Huang Yixuan
China's State Council yesterday released a guideline to support Pudong's high-level reform and opening-up and build it into a pioneer area for socialist modernization.
Li Qian Huang Yixuan

China's State Council yesterday released a guideline to support Pudong's high-level reform and opening-up and build it into a pioneer area for socialist modernization.

Pudong has been tasked with carrying out higher-level reform and opening-up, become a pacesetter of the modern socialist country and an example of "four matters of confidence" to reflect China's thinking, the Chinese spirit and the path of socialism with Chinese characteristics to the world.

By 2035, Pudong will complete the process of forming a modern economic system, build a modern urban area and achieve modern management. Its urban development level and global competitiveness will make it one of the top cities of the world.

By 2050, Pudong will become an area with great appeal, creativity, competitiveness and influence in the world, and its urban management capability and achievements will set examples in the world. Pudong will become a "bright pearl" of the great modern socialist country.

The guideline will provide an important platform for Pudong to better use resources on domestic and overseas markets, support Pudong to better fulfill its leading role in the integrated development of the Yangtze River Delta and build it as a window of China's socialist modernization.

Pudong will become a trailblazer of higher-level reform and opening-up. It will be the first to establish a new system for a higher-level open economy with international rules, and build a district-wide special economic zone for trial tests.

It will serve as a benchmark of independent innovation and development. It will take advantage of China's super large-scale market, find the focal points of innovation in the industrial chain, build an international innovation hub, enhance independent innovation capabilities, strengthen the leading function of high-end industries, guide the country's industrial chain upgrade and enhance the global influence.

The district will become a highland in global resource allocation. It will take the joint construction of Belt and Road Initiative as starting point to actively allocate global capital, information, technology, talent and other resources. It will build core areas of the city's international financial center, trade center and shipping center.

Pudong will become an example for expanding domestic demand. It will focus on providing high-quality products and services, fostering new consuming trends and lead the domestic consumption upgrade. It will become a place where global products will make their debut, and an international consumption center.

Pudong will set an example for modern urban management. It will form a complete, regulated and effective urban management system, and it will improve scientific, detailed and smart management as well as capability to respond to major accidents.

It will accelerate research and development in key technologies and the construction of Zhangjiang Comprehensive National Science Center. It will also build world-class innovation industrial clusters.

Innovators will enjoy preferential policies. For example, companies that engage in key fields such as integrated circuits, artificial intelligence and life science will enjoy tax deductions if they meet certain standards and demands.

Pudong will work with industrial clusters in the Yangtze River Delta region to make breakthroughs in inventing core components, launching high-end products and forming "China standards."

Focusing on the fundamental reform measures, which can serve as an engine of greater progress, Pudong will launch more comprehensive pilot projects with the aim of optimizing systems and regulations.

It will explore a pilot commercial registration and confirmation system as well as a system allowing market access upon commitment. It will work out a list of special measures to ease market access in Pudong, deepen the reform of a single license for one industry, and take the lead in establishing a comprehensive licensing and supervision system for industries.

Foreign investments at the initial stage will be granted the same treatment as is given to the Chinese investors in the district. The "pre-establishment national treatment," along with the negative list management system, will be fully implemented.

An intellectual property protection system, as a major concern for businesses, will also be optimized based on the principle of fairness. Comprehensive and equal treatment will be guaranteed for the protection of the intellectual property rights of private companies and foreign investors. Authorities will strengthen law enforcement against unfair competition, and enhance the protection of trade secrets of enterprises.

Another big point in the document is to deepen high-level institutional opening-up in terms of rules, systems, mechanisms and standards, and to cultivate new advantages in international cooperation and competition.

The Shanghai Free Trade Zone and Lingang Special Area will take the lead in testing new policies and launching more pilot projects, to give better play to their role of "test fields" for institutional opening-up benchmarking the highest standards.

The FTZ and Lingang will carry out more intensive stress testing to take the lead in achieving breakthroughs in a number of key areas. The relevant achievements will then be promoted across Pudong.

Special customs supervision areas will be set up, and certain policies for Yangshan Special Comprehensive Bonded Zone will be expanded for broader implementation in the eligible special customs supervision areas.

The FTZ will allow overseas service providers that meet the domestic regulatory requirements to offer more cross-border professional services in the form of cross-border delivery or movement of natural persons.

Authorities will also study and explore tax policies that are suitable for overseas investment and offshore business development in certain areas of Pudong. On the premise of controllable risk, new value-added tax policies are under consideration to support the service exports of Pudong-based enterprises.

To lure more high-end talents from abroad, Pudong will take the lead in implementing a more open and more convenient talent introduction policy. 

It mentioned some major tasks such as optimizing the financial market, product, institution and infrastructure systems to support Pudong in developing offshore yuan trading, cross-border trade settlement and overseas financing services, and to build a platform for international financial assets trading.

It aims to raise the influence on the prices of important commodities, and provide better services and lead the development of the real economy.

Specifically, an international financial assets trading platform will be set up in Pudong, and on a pilot basis allow the Qualified Foreign Institutional Investors to use yuan to participate in the trading of shares issued on the SSE STAR Market.

There will also be a pilot project on simplifying the registration of foreign debts in Pudong.

The financial infrastructure and systems are also getting optimized, such as expanding the implementation of the registration system in the whole stock market with information disclosure as the core, and introducing the market maker system in the STAR Market.

An international oil and gas trading and pricing center will be set up, and the Shanghai Petroleum and Natural Gas Exchange (SHPGX) will be encouraged to launch more varieties for trade.

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