Chongqing- Wang Lin, professor of Chongqing University and member of the CPPCC Chongqing, raised a proposal of building the world first “Chengdu-Chongqing Free Trade Port”, for a new inland development pattern and the elevation of international influence of Chengdu-Chongqing regions, on Jan. 21 during the Chongqing two sessions .
Wang Lin said that Chengdu and Chongqing are two national cities in the central region most closely located to the Indian Ocean Rim, home to the largest inland port and airport group in the west of China. The construction of the “Chengdu-Chongqing Free Trade Port” is not only an important driving force in the domestic cycle but also a strategic hub for the smooth connection of international and domestic dual cycles.
Chongqing achieved remarkable achievements in its open economy during the 13th Five-Year Plan period (2016-2020). Westward, China Railway Express (Yuxinou) ran more than 6,000 trains, ranking among the top in China; eastward, the navigation capacity of the golden waterway of Yangtze River saw its significant improvement; southward, New International Land-Sea Trade Corridor (ILSTC) became a national strategy, covering 95 countries and regions and 249 ports, northward, China Railway Express (YUMANE) and other international railway trains saw a regular running, with more than 2,000 trains.
How to push forward the upgrade of opening-up platforms in Chongqing during the 14th Five-Year Plan Period? Building the world first “Chengdu-Chongqing Free Trade Port” is a good idea in Wang Lin’s eyes.
Specifically, Wang suggested five steps to put the thought of the “Chengdu-Chongqing Free Trade Port” into real actions.
First, in accordance with inland free trade port requirements, applications to build the Chengdu-Chongqing Free Trade Port will be prepared, and construction of an inland open highland is to be promoted, creating an important development boost for the western region in the new era, promoting Chongqing as a hub node in the dual cycles.
Meanwhile, the integration of innovation, entrepreneurship, logistics, finance, domestic and international cohesion, industrial transformation and upgrades, and the formation of high-level dual cycles are also to be promoted.
Second, he suggested stimulating integrated development in the free trade zones of Sichuan and Chongqing. Through the integration of the two free trade zones, mutual complementarity of the domestic and international dual cycles are to be boosted through the joint application, construction, and operation of the “Chengdu-Chongqing Free Trade Port”.
Third, through coordinating planning for the construction of the “Chengdu-Chongqing Free Trade Port” by relevant provinces and cities in the Yangtze River upper reaches, the three provinces and one municipality in the Yangtze River upper reaches will be connected to build an interconnected infrastructure of railways, water, air, pipelines, and networks centered around the “Chengdu-Chongqing Free Trade Port”, which will be built into a highly credited collection and distribution center.
More importantly, neighboring provinces and cities will be encouraged to use their import and export goods, with the aims of increasing scale effect and reducing homogeneous competition, achieved through the application of financial support and tax sharing.
Fourth, the construction of the “Chengdu-Chongqing Free Trade Port” will lead to multi-directional coordination and linkage, which expands the domestic and international influence of Chengdu-Chongqing.
Wang continued, for instance, important logistics centers, information and capital flows, and a node with high centrality will be formed to radiate influence across Asia, Europe, and the Indian Ocean rim through realizing the transfer, collection and distribution of bulk cargo. Meanwhile, the logistics convergence capacity of the “Chengdu-Chongqing Free Trade Port” will be improved, while the smooth flow of domestic and international dual cycle channels is also to be promoted.
Financial and Logistical Services
Fifth, Wang added, “Chengdu-Chongqing Free Trade Port” would further enhance financial services, improve logistical integration functions, and promote dual-cycle synergy.
Financial innovation, optimize financial supervision, realize free and developed financial services such as capital flows, trade settlement, and foreign exchange are to be promoted, while buyer credit, project financing, leveraged buyouts, fund settlements and other services will be provided as well.
Coordinated development of offshore and onshore markets through financial innovation is to be encouraged, while the facilitation of cross-border investment and financing will be upgraded.