FTZ key to China’s global pro­file

China Daily (Canada) - - SHANGHAI - By LI YANG in Shang­hai liyang@chi­nadaily.com.cn

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com­mis­sion will ex­pe­dite the con­struc­tion of its in­for­ma­tion dis­clo­sure sys­tem and im­prove the in­dus­trial su­per­vi­sory sys­tem.” CHEN YIN PARTY CHIEF OF THE COM­MIS­SION

The Shang­hai Free Trade Zone is seen as play­ing a cru­cial role in China’s pres­ence on the world eco­nomic stage.

The FTZ will serve as an im­por­tant plat­form for China to ac­tively par­tic­i­pate in mak­ing in­ter­na­tional eco­nomic and trade rules, Chi­nese Pres­i­dent Xi Jin­ping said.

The Polit­buro of the Com­mu­nist Party of China Cen­tral Com­mit­tee dis­cussed on fu­ture de­vel­op­ment of Shang­hai FTZ in its 19th col­lec­tive learn­ing ses­sion last week.

Shang­hai FTZ was cre­ated one year ago to ex­plore re­form mod­els in fi­nance, trade and gov­er­nance that can be trans­planted na­tion­wide. Xi’s re­marks in­di­cated that the FTZ has new mis­sions in the global realm apart from do­mes­tic re­forms.

Li Guanghui, a re­searcher of in­ter­na­tional trade with the Com­merce Min­istry, de­liv­ered a speech on in­ter­na­tional trade and eco­nomic co­op­er­a­tion in the group learn­ing. The Polit­buro mem­bers dis­cussed the topic af­ter­wards, and Xi con­cluded the learn­ing ses­sion with a brief speech.

“We should not be a by­stander or a fol­lower, but ac­tive par­tic­i­pant and a leader,” Xi said. “We should be good at im­prov­ing China’s global com­pe­tency through Shang­hai FTZ. We need to let more of China’s voices be heard and more Chi­nese el­e­ments noted in the process of mak­ing in­ter­na­tional rules, so as to main­tain and ex­pand China’s in­ter­est in pur­su­ing de­vel­op­ment.”

As do­mes­tic re­form en­tered a new phase, China’s econ­omy also faces a dif­fer­ent in­ter­na­tional en­vi­ron­ment.

China ur­gently needs to change its old mind­set as a fol­lower and a by­stander, and build up its FTZ ac­cord­ing to global stan­dards, said Zhao Jian­glin, a re­searcher with Chi­nese Academy of So­cial Sciences.

Xi’s new re­quire­ment for FTZ means that China will ac­tively take part in bi­lat­eral and mul­ti­lat­eral FTZ ne­go­ti­a­tion, and im­prove its ne­go­ti­at­ing level in the FTZ ne­go­ti­a­tions.

“Shang­hai FTZ will be a key foun­da­tion in China’s par­tic­i­pa­tion into the Trans-Pa­cific Strate­gic Eco­nomic Part­ner­ship Agree­ment, and the con­struc­tion of new type of re­la­tions be­tween China and the United States,” Zhao said.

Some en­trepreneurs in lo­gis­tics and trade in FTZ said par­tic­i­pat­ing in the mak­ing of global eco­nomic and trade rules and cre­at­ing a global en­vi­ron­ment in Shang­hai FTZ are good for the de­vel­op­ment of their en­ter­prises.

“The strat­egy of Shang­hai FTZ is a com­pli­cated sys­tem project,” Xi said. “We need to strengthen the top-level de­sign, plan the whole sit­u­a­tion, as well as in­di­vid­ual ac­tions’ fea­si­bil­ity,” Xi said.

Ac­cord­ing to the col­lec­tive learn­ing ses­sion’s state­ment, China should ac­tively con­struct a free trade zone net with rel­e­vant coun­tries along the Silk Road Eco­nomic Belt and 21st Mar­itime Silk Road, two ini­tia­tives pro­posed by China to pro­mote re­gional in­te­gra­tion and fa­cil­i­tate trade and co­op­er­a­tion on the Eura­sia con­ti­nent and in the Pa­cific and In­dian ocean re­gions.

Xi said that the au­thor­ity in the FTZ project must pay at­ten­tion to pre­vent and con­trol risks, and es­tab­lish an ef­fec­tive su­per­vi­sion sys­tem to en­sure the safety of the re­forms that the FTZ will pi­lot, es­pe­cially in the fi­nan­cial sec­tor.

The Shang­hai FTZ ad­min­is­tra­tion com­mis­sion spokesper­son said that Xi’s new di­rec­tion for FTZ means it needs to make more break­throughs in its ad­min­is­tra­tion sys­tems.

Chen Yin, the Party chief of the com­mis­sion, said that to put Xi’s words into prac­tice, Shang­hai FTZ will fo­cus on three key is­sues.

The FTZ will re­form the for­mer in­vest­ment, trade and fi­nance sys­tems to im­prove the business en­vi­ron­ment. The FTZ will con­tinue to trans­form the gov­ern­ment’s role from a dom­i­na­tor of the econ­omy to a ser­vice provider for the pub­lic and the mar­ket.

“The com­mis­sion will ex­pe­dite the con­struc­tion of its in­for­ma­tion dis­clo­sure sys­tem and im­prove the in­dus­trial su­per­vi­sory sys­tem,” Chen said.

All mar­ket rules in the FTZ will be made fair and trans­par­ent, so as to bet­ter pro­tect the le­gal in­ter­ests and rights of the mar­ket play­ers, Chen added.

The Polit­buro of the 18th Com­mu­nist Party of China Cen­tral Com­mit­tee held 19 group learn­ing ses­sions, which come at ev­ery 40 days on av­er­age, in the two years since it took power. Nearly 40 per­cent of the 19 learn­ing ses­sions so far have been about the econ­omy, fi­nance and trade, fol­lowed by top­ics on gov­ern­ment re­form, rule of law, mil­i­tary con­struc­tion, sci­ence and tech­nol­ogy, anti-cor­rup­tion and cul­tural stud­ies.

Each learn­ing ses­sion lasts about two hours. An ex­pert in rel­e­vant fields will be in­vited from univer­si­ties and main think-tanks to de­liver a speech for about 80 min­utes. Then the Polit­buro mem­bers will dis­cuss the topic for about 30 min­utes, fol­lowed by Xi Jin­ping’s brief sum­mary speech, which is in­vari­ably taken as an in­di­ca­tion of fu­ture poli­cies and strate­gies.

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