Xi calls for more re­sults from FTZs Co­or­di­nated plan­ning, in­no­va­tion sought to boost re­form, open­ing-up

China Daily (Canada) - - FRONT PAGE - By XU WEI xuwei@chi­nadaily.com.cn

Pres­i­dent Xi Jin­ping has called for more co­or­di­nated plan­ning, re­form and in­no­va­tion to de­velop China’s pilot free trade zones into new lead­ing ar­eas of re­form and open­ing-up for the new era.

In an in­struc­tion re­leased on Wednes­day, Xi, who is also the gen­eral sec­re­tary of the Com­mu­nist Party of China Cen­tral Com­mit­tee, urged more ef­fort to free peo­ple’s minds and proac­tively ex­plore ways to keep rais­ing the level of de­vel­op­ment for pilot free trade zones.

The in­struc­tion came as a meet­ing was held in Shang­hai on Wednes­day to mark the fifth an­niver­sary of the de­vel­op­ment of pilot FTZs in China. The coun­try un­veiled its first pilot FTZ in Shang­hai in Septem­ber 2013.

Xi said the de­vel­op­ment of free trade zones is a strate­gic mea­sure adopted by the CPC Cen­tral Com­mit­tee to push for­ward re­form and openingup, and the de­vel­op­ment of pilot FTZs is a mile­stone in re­form and open­ing-up.

In the past five years, pilot FTZs have been ded­i­cated to im­ple­ment­ing de­ci­sions and plans made by the CPC Cen­tral Com­mit­tee and they have re­mained en­ter­pris­ing and coura­geous in or­der to achieve break­throughs, he said.

He said work re­lated to the zones has seen ma­jor progress. A large num­ber of in­no­va­tive re­sults at the in­sti­tu­tional level are be­ing pro­moted na­tion­wide, mak­ing the zones a test­ing ground for com­pre­hen­sive deep­en­ing of re­form.

Xi said more work should be done at pilot FTZs to sum­ma­rize and eval­u­ate progress and to gen­er­ate more in­sti­tu­tional in­no­va­tion out­comes that can be ap­plied na­tion­wide.

Premier Li Ke­qiang said in an in­struc­tion to the meet­ing that what pilot FTZs have achieved over the past five years must be rec­og­nized.

Re­form and open­ing-up at pilot FTZs should be moved for­ward with greater at­ten­tion paid to iden­ti­fy­ing un­der­ly­ing prob­lems and struc­tural is­sues, he said.

It is im­por­tant to step up co­or­di­nated plan­ning and sys­tem­atic syn­er­gies in re­form and con­tinue to fo­cus on in­sti­tu­tional in­no­va­tion so that new strengths in de­vel­op­ment and com­pet­i­tive­ness can be cre­ated, he said.

Vice-Premier Han Zheng, who presided over the meet­ing on Wednes­day, said ex­plo­ration and tri­als at pilot FTZs must serve the na­tional strat­egy and stim­u­late mar­ket vi­tal­ity through in­sti­tu­tional in­no­va­tion.

Han also high­lighted the im­por­tance of speed­ing up the trans­for­ma­tion of gov­ern­ment func­tions, fur­ther­ing re­form to stream­line ap­proval pro­ce­dures for busi­nesses and deep­en­ing neg­a­tive-list re­form.

The cen­tral gov­ern­ment has es­tab­lished 12 pilot FTZs na­tion­wide, where re­form mea­sures such as stream­lined busi­ness regis­tra­tion and eas­ier ac­cess to ad­min­is­tra­tive ser­vices are tested be­fore be­ing pro­moted na­tion­wide.

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