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Institutional opening up of Shanghai FTZ to benefit China, global development: official

Source: Xinhua Updated: 2023-12-11

BEIJING -- A Chinese commerce official said Friday that efforts to promote the high-level institutional opening up of the China (Shanghai) Pilot Free Trade Zone (FTZ) will not only boost China's development but also benefit the rest of the world.

Tang Wenhong, assistant minister of commerce, made the remarks at a press conference after the country issued a comprehensive plan to promote the high-level institutional opening up of the Shanghai FTZ by aligning it with high-standard international economic and trade rules.

The move comes amid China's efforts to promote reform, development and innovation through opening up, and it will provide new opportunities for global development along with advancing Chinese modernization, Tang said.

The plan will allow higher level trade of goods liberation and facilitation, deepen opening up in the financial service sector, strengthen international cooperation in digital trade, enhance protection of intellectual property rights through all links, and allow freer cross-border flow of factors such as commodities, technology, capital and data, he said.

Tang noted that in recent years, high-standard international economic and trade rules have been evolving, expanding from "border" rules, such as tariffs and non-tariff barriers, to more extensive "behind-the-border" rules.

Tang said more than half of the 80 measures outlined in this plan are related to "behind-the-border" rules, involving promoting the reform of the government procurement system, deepening the reform of state-owned enterprises, strengthening the protection of workers' rights, and implementing high-level environmental protection measures.

According to the plan, more steps will also be taken to tackle key issues in a wide range of fields in the free trade zone, said Tang. The plan focuses on promoting cross-border data flow, improving cross-border investment and financing facilitation, cultivating new trade models, and promoting trade digitalization, among others.