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Plan to Build Chongqing as Inland Opening-up Highland by 2025

International hub city

According to the 14th Five-Year Plan (2021-2025) for Chongqing to Fully Integrate into the Co-building of Belt and Road Initiative and Accelerate the Development of an Inland Opening-up Highland, Chongqing will fully build an inland opening-up highland by 2035. Its world-oriented open economy system will be completed, leading central and western China in terms of openness and internationalization. Through this, Chongqing will become an international hub city with global influence.

By then, Chongqing will initially forge a strategic hub for the joint development of the Belt and Road Initiative, the Yangtze River Economic Belt, and the New International Land-Sea Trade Corridor (ILSTC). It will become an inland international logistics hub and port and become an international hub city and an international exchange center in the central and western regions.

Specifically, its total imports and exports of goods and services will exceed 900 billion yuan (about 139.91 billion US dollars) and 100 billion yuan respectively, and the annual paid-in foreign investment will remain above 10 billion US dollars, with the quality of trade and investment improved markedly.

Ways to implement

The Plan requires expanding opening-up channels, improving opening-up platforms, building a high-quality open economy, promoting high-level institutional opening-up, enhancing city internationalization, and promoting regionally coordinated opening-up.

 

A picture of Chongqing. (iChongqing/ Vivian Yan)

Expanding opening-up channels

First, Chongqing will add the channels for opening-up. Chongqing will coordinate the eastward, westward, southward, and northward development, expand the ILSTC, enhance the function and system of the China Railway Express (Chengdu-Chongqing), optimize the golden waterway of the Yangtze River, and tap the potential of the Chongqing-Manzhouli-Russia Railway, thus promoting the interconnection of opening-up channels.

Besides, efforts will be made to improve the connection of logistics hubs and nodes, accelerate the construction of inland international hubs of logistics, aviation, and information, and enhance Chongqing’s ability to handle personnel, materiel, and information flows, therefore building an international hub city.

Chongqing will expand the ILSTC. (iChongqing file photo)

Improving opening-up platforms

Second, Chongqing will improve the opening-up platform system. Chongqing will coordinate the development of opening-up platforms, optimize their layout, strive to add national-level opening-up platforms such as comprehensive bonded zones and national high-tech zones, and promote the coordinated and distinctive development of opening-up platforms.

Through enhancing the opening-up of strategic platforms, taking advantage of pilot projects like the China-Singapore (Chongqing) Demonstration Initiative on Strategic Connectivity, China (Chongqing) Pilot Free Trade Zone, Liangjiang New Area, Western (Chongqing) Science City, and other strategic platforms, Chongqing will intensify efforts to reform and innovate, fueling its opening-up to the outside world.

Chongqing will develop park platforms such as economic development zones and high-tech zones, functional platforms such as ports and bonded supervision sites, and activity platforms such as the Smart China Expo and the Western China International Fair for Investment and Trade, in a bid to optimize the allocation of resources and improve the quality of operation to generate synergy effects.

A picture of the China (Chongqing) Pilot Free Trade Zone. (Photo/ Chongqing Municipal Commission of Commerce)

Building a high-quality open economy

Third, Chongqing will build a high-quality open economy. Chongqing will further open up all industries, implement comprehensive trials for further opening up the service sector, foster new growth poles for the open economy, and improve the open economy’s scale, quality, and performance.

The city will prosper the inland channel economy, develop modern logistics industry, improve the industrial system of the channel economy, and promote logistics through channel construction, economy and trade through logistic development, and industries through economy and trade development.

Through developing trade in services, deepening trials for innovative development of trade in services, optimizing the structure of trade in services, innovating in development models, expanding international service outsourcing, and building an important national base for trade in services, Chongqing will improve and upgrade trade in goods, consolidate general trade, stabilize processing trade, foster new forms of foreign trade like cross-border e-commerce, and promote the digitalization of trade.

In addition, Chongqing will foster and expand export-oriented market entities, step up efforts to attract investment, and encourage enterprises to go global. It is expected to connect domestic and international markets and promote the coordinated development of domestic and overseas market demand, imports and exports, foreign capital introduction, and outbound investment.

Promoting high-level institutional opening-up

Fourth, Chongqing will advance high-level institutional opening-up. The city will promote institutional opening-up of rules, regulations, management, and standards, and comprehensively optimize the design of the opening-up system.

Chongqing will further align with high-standard economic and trade rules, implement the management system of pre-establishment national treatment and negative list for foreign investment, strengthen intellectual property protection, find ways to establish a system of fair competition rules, and move towards internationalizing standards.

Leading in formulating new international economics and trade rules through innovation, innovating in overland, digital, and offshore trade rules while promoting international cooperation, Chongqing will conform to the new trend of restructuring global economic and trade rules.

Enhancing city internationalization

Fifth, Chongqing will enhance the internationalization of the city by building an international exchange center in the central and western regions. This involves expanding the circle of international contacts and deepening international exchanges and cooperation in science and technology, culture, education, and sports.

Meanwhile, Chongqing will build an international consumption center, forge international consumption hubs such as central business districts and Cuntan International New Town, lead the gathering of international consumption resources, improve the quality of international consumption, and create an enabling environment for international consumption.

Through enhancing the function of international life services, promoting the construction of international life service facilities, and speeding up the facilitation of life services, Chongqing aims to build a modern international city.

Furthermore, the city will optimize the foreign-related business environment and continue to improve international government services and the rule of law.

A picture of Raffles City Chongqing. (iChongqing/ Vivian Yan)

Promoting regionally coordinated opening-up

Sixth, Chongqing will catalyze regionally coordinated opening-up. The city will optimize its open space layout, and enhance the openness of the central metropolitan area and the two town clusters of the Three Gorges Reservoir area in northeast Chongqing and the Wuling mountainous area in southeast Chongqing, thereby fueling the coordinated development of “one metropolitan area and two town clusters.”

Deepening the opening-up and cooperation in Chengdu-Chongqing economic circle, Chongqing will establish and improve the systems and mechanisms for coordinated opening-up, join efforts to build channels and platforms for opening-up, develop a high-level open economy, and carry out coordinated international exchanges and cooperation.

Through strengthening domestic and international opening-up and cooperation, promoting coordinated opening-up with key regions such as the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei region, the Yangtze River Delta, and the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area, Chongqing will enhance international cooperation with countries along the Belt and Road, and build a strategic hub connecting China and the world.

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