On June 3, Chongqing Municipal Commission of Commerce and Sichuan Provincial Department of Commerce signed the work plan. It started to co-build the Co-opening-up Demonstration Zone of China (Sichuan) Pilot Free Trade Zone & China (Chongqing) Pilot Free Trade Zone.
The Zone is an important part of Sichuan-Chongqing cooperation. In July 2019, Sichuan Provincial Department of Commerce and Chongqing Municipal Commission of Commerce jointly formulated the 2019 Key Work Plan on Promoting Chengdu-Chongqing City Cluster Open Platform Co-construction and Sharing, making it clear that they will explore the construction of the Zone and gradually form a new pattern of “system innovation, information sharing, experience co-creation and model co-construction.”
This time, the two sides signed the Work Plan for Co-constructing the Co-opening-up Demonstration Zone of China (Sichuan) Pilot Free Trade Zone & China (Chongqing) Pilot Free Trade Zone, detailing the content and mechanism of the joint construction, making it clear that they would actively carry out differentiated pilot policies in the five critical areas of system innovation, joint platform construction, channel sharing, industrial cooperation, and environment building to promote the sharing and application of reform results.
In regards to institutional innovation, the two places will continue to further reforms and innovations such as “document of the title attribute of railway bill,” “railway+,” “multimodal transport,” “single document” and explore several institutional innovations across regions, departments, and levels. In the meantime, the two sides will establish a mechanism for regular exchange and on-site observation of innovation achievements to promote and apply major institutional innovations jointly.
On platform construction, the two sides will strive for national support and rely on the central area of Chongqing’s downtown and Chengdu-Deyang-Meishan-Ziyang Integration Metropolitan Area to expand the development space of FTZs. Meanwhile, open platforms such as special customs surveillance areas, national economic development zones, and designated surveillance sites for imported goods will be added further to enhance the capability of multi-dimensional international supply chain allocation.
In building inland international logistics hub, the two sides will establish a logistics cooperation development mechanism at Sichuan-Chongqing ports, and build a comprehensive port logistics operation platform, an international air cargo hub, an inland international logistics distribution center, and an Asia-Europe railway cargo operation center.
To improve the level of industrial opening and cooperation, the two sides will carry out comprehensive pilot projects to expand the commencement of service industries, promote the innovative development of digital trade, push trade transformation and upgrading, explore the establishment of a negative list of cross-border service trade, build a batch of demonstration bases for foreign trade transformation and upgrading, strengthen financial opening and innovation cooperation, and conduct trials of cross-border investment and financing facilitation policies.
In a bid to create an international first-class business environment, the two sides will further the pilot on full-coverage reform of “separating permits from the business license” in the FTZs, support Chongqing in building into a sample city for the World Bank’s global business environment assessment, co-build an inland international business environment demonstration zone, and strengthen cooperation among courts, commercial arbitration centers and mediation centers in FTZs.
“To build the Zone is to realize coordinated development through the integration of policies and other aspects,” noted Fu Jiakang, Deputy Director of Chongqing Municipal Commission of Commerce, adding that by relying on the Zone, Sichuan and Chongqing can explore and innovate more experience systems that can be copied and promoted, and build a relevant carrier and platform that serves the land-sea integration, as well as east-west complementation and openness.
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