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Chongqing trade zone thrives after four years of development

Updated: 2021-04-01

The Chongqing Pilot Free Trade Zone – located in Southwest China's Chongqing municipality – is widely said to have delivered a slew of remarkable results since it was established on April 1 in 2017, aimed at bolstering foreign trade and achieving innovation-driven, high-quality development.

By the end of 2020, the zone had successfully overseen an estimated 79 innovative achievements, with six of the most typical and successful cases of reform reportedly promoted and studied nationwide.

Over recent years, 41 of the zone's municipal management powers have been delegated to districts, and 523 central government-set and 14 local government-set administrative areas that involve business licenses have been transferred over for management by the zone.

It is estimated that 25 percent of the municipality's import and export enterprises have relocated in the zone, now contributing some 70 percent to Chongqing's total annual import and export volumes and that more than 40 percent of foreign direct investment in Chongqing has been made there.

The Chongqing Pilot Free Trade Zone is understood to be focusing on three particular areas during the course of the next few decades.

Plans are for the zone to be dedicated to its cooperation with the adjacent Sichuan province, to strengthen the development of free trade demonstration areas. The two partners will both actively participate in the Belt and Road Initiative and will together create new bases for more inland openings and global competition.

In addition, the new institutional opening-up system will be formulated and practiced in the zone, with the newly established trade rules to be consistent with international standards as much as possible. More legal protection will be given to intellectual property rights.

Finally, the zone will expand its services sector, especially in the areas of technology, renting business, education, finance, healthcare, social work, electricity and telecommunications.

Restrictions on market entries will be loosened, with more administrative barriers to be lifted to pave the way for an improved business environment.


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