In late autumn, the term “free trade port” has drawn wide attention because it was mentioned in the 19 major newspapers.
On October 18, the report of the 19th National Congress proposed that a new pattern of opening up should be formed. Among the many measures for opening up to the outside world, “giving greater freedom to reform the Pilot Free Trade Zone and exploring the building of a free trade port”.
At a regular press briefing by the Ministry of Commerce on October 26, Spokesman Gao Feng said that this put forward higher requirements for the construction of the experimental field for reform and opening up, pointed out a new direction and urged us to make higher standards on standards, Promote a more comprehensive and in-depth new pattern of opening up.
“At present, according to the unified arrangements of the Party Central Committee and the State Council, we are working actively with relevant provinces, municipalities and departments on the establishment of a free trade zone based on a high standard of high-level free trade pilot zone.” Peak said The Ministry of Commerce is working with the Shanghai authorities and relevant departments to study and formulate relevant construction plans. In addition, Zhejiang Free Trade Experimental Zone has formulated the development goal of initially establishing a free trade zone and paved the way for international standards to promote the liberalization of international commodity trade with oil as the core.
As a new round of experimental land for reform and opening up in China, Shanghai Free Trade Zone insists on taking system innovation as its core task and naturally takes the lead in building a free trade port. On October 19, the delegation of Shanghai held a full regiment meeting in the Shanghai Hall of the Great Hall of People. When answering questions related to the construction of the pilot free trade zone and the planning of the construction of a free trade port, the Shanghai municipal leaders said that Shanghai was now pressing the Central Government To plan the establishment of a free trade port, the final plan must be implemented after the approval of the Central Government.
“From the free trade area to exploring and building a free trade port, it is of great significance for the reform and opening up. The reform of the Free Trade Port Area is actually aimed at accelerating the pace of opening up to a greater degree.” Professor of Huazhong University of Science and Technology, from Chen Bo, executive director of the Trade Research Center, told Die Zeit reporter.
According to Chen Bo, Shanghai has already submitted a preliminary plan to explore the construction of a free trade port area and is currently negotiating with the Ministry of Commerce. It is expected that a relatively clear implementation plan will be issued by the end of this year or early next year.
Shanghai FTA reform 3.0 biggest bright spot.
The concept of “free trade port” first appeared in the “Plan for the Reform and Opening-up of the China (Shanghai) Pilot Free Trade Zone” (hereafter referred to as the “Plan”) promulgated by the State Council on March 31 this year. This is the establishment of the Shanghai Free Trade Zone Since the release of the third edition of the program, has been hailed as “the reform of the Shanghai FTA 3.0 version.”
According to the “Program”, Shanghai Free Trade Zone will set up a free trade port in special customs supervision zones such as Yangshan Bonded Port Area and Shanghai Pudong Airport Bonded Area. The highest international standard of the mark, the implementation of a higher standard of “first-line liberalization” “second-tier safe and efficient control” trade regulatory system.
At that time, the industry generally believed that for the first time it was clear that setting up a free trade port area in Shanghai’s FTA was the biggest highlight of the “program.”
“Shanghai Port serves the Yangtze River Delta and Yangtze River Economic Belt and the whole country. It is in line with the regional and national interests to improve the efficiency of the Shanghai Port, which is the starting point for the construction of a free trade port area.” Sun Yuanxin, vice dean of the Free Trade Zone Research Institute of Shanghai University of Finance and Economics In an interview with Times Weekly, he said: “The free trade park and port operations will be better combined to facilitate the transit trade, high-end processing trade and promote innovation and development.”
At the same time, Sun Yuanxin also pointed out that there is still room for research and exploration on the free trade area program. Next, there will be many new features, new models, new systems and new tax systems for specific construction projects that require further demonstration and approval by the Central Government .
In Chen Bo’s opinion, the goal of building a free trade area is to be an advanced level of international standardization. However, it is required that the experience of the free trade area must be replicable and extendable so that there is a certain fetter for its development. “Free Trade Ports pay more attention to benchmarking and competition than to the short term reproducibility and feasibility of the free trade port, with fewer fetters.” According to the “Free Trade Port”, the free trade port should be the highest standard in the world, In other words, its mission is to compete with the most advanced and efficient regions in the world where the most talented people, goods and resources are gathered and benchmark Hong Kong and Singapore. From this perspective, the free trade port will be more open. “Chen Wave explained.
Hong Kong, China will be different
At present, there is no free trade port in mainland China. China, Hong Kong, Singapore, Dubai and other internationally accepted more successful free trade port, or will become an important reference standard.
On June 7, 1841, Charlie Justice, the British government representative, declared Hong Kong a free trade port. The Hong Kong government has not taken the approach of drawing up specific areas and formulating special decrees. Instead, it is committed to developing Hong Kong into a free trade area.
Since its establishment, foreign trade has always been the foundation of Hong Kong’s economy. After 176 years of development and evolution, Hong Kong has evolved from a single entrepot port to become the free port with the most liberal, most liberal and most versatile economic structure in the world.
From Chen Bo’s point of view, Hong Kong and Singapore, through their accumulation, have now formed a comparatively complete and open system that has two reasons for its historical and economic structure. Historically, Hong Kong and Singapore are former British colonies and are free ports in their own right In terms of economic structure, as a port-type small economy, the opening up of Hong Kong and Singapore does not require too much scruples of the impact on the domestic industry. On the other hand, as a large country, it is necessary to protect many domestic related industries, and at the same time they have to make trade-offs while opening up, will there be serious or serious problems for the domestic industries Destructive blow. “Under such circumstances, we can see that even super-powers such as the United States have a lot of tendency toward protectionism. The more the larger countries will be, the two conditions will lead to the fact that if we want Hong Kong and Singapore in that way to compete for global material and financial resources, we need to be more prepared. “Chen Bo said.
“Mainland China has made rapid progress in recent years, and the throughput and infrastructures of the mainland ports are no worse than those of Singapore and Hong Kong, but there is still a gap between them in terms of management capabilities, management structure, efficiency and internationalization.” Research Institute of the Ministry of International Trade Bai Ming, deputy director of the Institute for Market Research, said in an interview with the media: On the one hand, Singapore and Hong Kong started very early; on the other hand, the entire opening up in mainland China involves many institutional and institutional innovations and changes and requires a process. Moreover, as a free port, Singapore and Hong Kong have realized the transfer and weakening of many government administrative functions. In this respect, there may be some differences in the construction of a free trade port in the Mainland.
Shanghai how to do?
It is reported that at present, Shanghai Port has set up container cargo trade deals with more than 500 ports in 214 countries and regions across the world. The international liner service covers all major international air routes. In 2016, Shanghai Port completed 702 million tons of cargo throughput and completed 37.13 million TEUs of container throughput, up by 3.5% over the same period of last year, ranking the first in the world for seven consecutive years since 2010.
While building a free trade port, Shanghai is still in a pioneering position. According to the “Plan”, according to the state’s authorization to implement an intensive management system, Shanghai Free Trade Port Zone will, under the precondition of effective prevention and control of port risks, revoke or minimize the trade control measures for goods entering the zone by means of information supervision. The maximum extent Simplify front-line filing procedures. We will explore and implement the financial, foreign exchange, investment and exit management systems in line with internationally accepted practices, and establish and improve a risk prevention and control system.
“Shanghai will build a free trade port area and learn from advanced international experience and benchmark with the highest standards to achieve high standards and high standards.” Sun Yuanxin said.
“Our free trade port area should not only make reference to international conventions, but also study the latest trends in the development of international investment and trade as well as the actual situation in China with many trade types and large trade volumes.” On April 1, Shanghai Municipal Development and Reform Commission Zhu Min, deputy director of the Shanghai Municipal Government held a press conference, said: “We are in the special customs territory of the establishment of free trade port area, we do not engage in enclosure, do not engage in big demolition, mainly institutional innovation, research A set of new regulatory system that is both in line with China’s actual conditions and has international standards.The biggest difference between the free trade port area and the present integrated bonded area lies in the different ways of front-line management. As to how to manage it, it is still under study with relevant state departments.
In Chen Bo’s opinion, what Shanghai needs to do now is to study carefully the reasons why Hong Kong, Singapore and Dubai, among others, can form a global gathering of resources such as goods, manpower and finance and generate a lot of value-added services . “Key opening measures, major facilitation measures, and innovative trade and financial models must be made clear in forthcoming plans to embody our ambition of building a free trade port and stand out from the competition in the global free trade port area, Attract global resources and speed up the construction of Shanghai’s four major international centers. ”
“Shanghai Free Trade Docklands benchmarking is the current international highest open standard, there is no more potential for onshore financial services, offshore trade should be the core of its future construction and further development of offshore financial and futures trade.” Chen Waves are eager to see these breakthroughs in their implementation scenarios.