Greater autonomy has been promised to three of the country’s Pilot Free Trade Zones – Guangdong, Tianjin and Fujian. The move follows a review by the State Council, which also identified a number of specific priorities for each site:
Guangdong Free Zone
In line with its remit to act as both a hub for a high level of opening across the wider region and as a model for the stepped-up co-operative activities proposed across the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macau Bay Area, the State Council emphasised the importance of meeting 18 key objectives. These include the establishment of a comprehensive and transparent legal environment, creating a platform that will facilitate the opening-up of the financial sector and promoting the trade in services across the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macau Bay Area.
Tianjin Free Zone
In line with its remit to boost the international competitiveness of the local business sector while providing a model for the coordinated development of the wider Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei Region, the State Council identified 16 particular priorities. These include taking an innovative approach to the market-led distribution of production factors, nurturing businesses in a number of emerging technology sectors and enhancing the coordinated development of the region’s professional services sector.
Fujian Free Zone
In line with its remit to deepen cross-Strait economic co-operation and establish itself as one of the Belt and Road Initiative’s key hubs, the State Council identified 21 particular priorities. These include, establishing a world-class business environment locally and enhancing the level of financial co-operation with Taiwan.