China issues opinion to ease market access in Shenzhen
BEIJING -- China on Wednesday unveiled an opinion on relaxing market access in the country's southern metropolis Shenzhen, as part of efforts to further promote reform and opening-up of the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area.
The opinion, jointly issued by the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) and the Ministry of Commerce, detailed 24 special measures that would ease market access in sectors including the application of advanced technologies and their industrial development, financial investment, medicine and health, education and culture, and transportation.
Over the past few years, China has introduced a raft of policies in the innovation hub, aiming to build Shenzhen into a demonstration area of socialism with Chinese characteristics.
Zhao Chenxin, secretary-general of the NDRC, said the new document aimed to explore more flexible and scientific policy and management systems and boost the development of the socialist market economy.
According to the opinion, work will begin on establishing a market-based international trading center for electronic components and integrated circuits and the provision of services such as logistics and customs declaration.
The document also pledged easier access to data elements trading and cross-border data business, and an improved market-access environment for the application of advanced technologies.
To ease access to financial investment, the city will step up financial support for agricultural supply chains, promote Shenzhen-Hong Kong-Macao insurance market connectivity and further facilitate cross-border trade settlement, the document said.
Regarding the medical and health sectors, the document called for relaxed restrictions on market access for pharmaceuticals and medical devices, pilot trials of prescription drug online sales, as well as optimized approval, and access services for human genetic resources.
Unified access standards and open application platforms for land-sea-air unmanned systems will be established, while support for the construction and operation of infrastructure for new-energy vehicles will be scaled up, the document said.
Qin Weizhong, mayor of Shenzhen, said that the document would fuel wider development of the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area as it is conducive to fostering a fairer and more open market environment.
Shenzhen, once a small fishing village, is often referred to as the "window" of China's reform and opening-up, which began in the late 1970s. In 1980, it became the country's first special economic zone with favorable policies to attract overseas investment.
The city boasts a booming private economy and houses the headquarters of many tech giants such as Tencent and DJI. In 2020, its gross domestic product hit 2.77 trillion yuan (about 438 billion U.S. dollars), surpassing a number of Chinese provinces.