Xi Jinping, general secretary of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee, Chinese president and chairman of the Central Military Commission, has recently delivered instructions on advancing the development of pilot free trade zones (FTZs).
He pointed out that building pilot FTZs is an important strategic move of the CPC Central Committee to promote reform and opening up in the new era. Over the past decade, each pilot FTZ has followed the decisions and arrangements of the CPC Central Committee, emancipated mind, upheld fundamental principles and broken new ground in launching a large number of fundamental and pioneering reform and opening-up measures, making many iconic and groundbreaking achievements in institutional innovation. They have effectively played their role as a comprehensive experimental platform for reform and opening up.
Xi stressed that on the new journey, it is necessary to implement the strategy of improving pilot FTZs on the basis of comprehensively summarizing the 10-year experience on their development. He called for being a pioneer to forge ahead and overcome difficulties, explore in a wider field and at a deeper level, and strive to build higher-level pilot FTZs. To enable pilot FTZs to better play an exemplary role, it is essential for them to uphold overall Party leadership, pursue high-level opening up as the guidance and institutional innovation as the core, coordinate development and security, align domestic rules with international economic and trade rules by high standards, further promote institutional opening-up, strengthen overall planning and systematic integration of reform, and promote innovative development of the entire industrial chain.
A seminar was held in Beijing on Sept. 26 to mark the 10th anniversary of the establishment of China’s first pilot FTZ . He Lifeng, a member of the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee and vice premier, read out Xi’s important instructions and delivered a speech. He said that it is imperative to study and thoroughly understand General Secretary Xi’s important instructions, comprehensively summarize the experience gained from the development of pilot FTZs, and implement the strategy to upgrade the standards of them. He emphasized the need to continuously update thinking, intensify guarantees, and coordinate development and security. He added that new breakthroughs should be made in institutional innovation, the opening up policy should be expanded to new areas, and new progress should be made in making plans for development, so as to build higher-level pilot FTZs.
At the seminar, a leading official of the Ministry of Commerce reported on the development of pilot FTZs in the past 10 years, and those who delivered speeches include officials from the Ministry of Finance, the People's Bank of China, the General Administration of Customs, and Shanghai and Tianjin municipalities, Fujian, Liaoning and Sichuan provinces, and Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region.
Leading officials of relevant central Party and government departments and those from the provinces, autonomous regions and municipalities where the 21 pilot FTZs are located attended the seminar.