China promotes trade and investment facilitation in free zones

China has rolled out a series of measures to boost trade and investment facilitation, and to deepen reform and innovation in pilot free trade zones (FTAs). The measures can be classified into 5 categories.

1. Trade facilitation

China will support regions with pilot free zones in the development of innovation demonstration zones for the facilitation of imports, help free zones to develop off-shore trade, encourage enterprises in free zones to carry out repairs under customs based on the product catalog used in full bonded zones, will allow eligible free zones to import specified drugs and medical devices through cross-border retail e-commerce.

2. Investment facilitation

China will delegate approval powers to free zones to allow service providers in Hong Kong and Macao to set up travel agencies.

Legitimate overseas vessel inspection institutions will be allowed to perform legal inspections on internationally registered vessels in pilot free zones.

The pilot free zones will provide land through industrial chains, covering key links and grassroots projects.

3. More accessible international traffic

Foreign airlines can carry passengers and cargo from the Chinese city with free zones to a third country, under fifth freedom traffic law.

China will spearhead the reform of the use of the “single certificate” for multimodal transport and provide incentives to apply and standardize it.

China will study and introduce financing policies with rail transport documents.

The government grants the provincial authorities pilot free zones falling under their administrative power over certain elements of management of shipments in the vessel operating transport certificate.

4. More practical financial services for the real economy

China will launch new futures such as shipping futures, attract foreign traders into futures trading, and improve regulatory policies for the delivery of bonded futures.

China to pilot bank account system unifying domestic and foreign currencies and leasing company practices to more effectively attract foreign debt to free zones, and explore securitization of intellectual property assets in free zones eligible.

5. Legal support for trade and investment facilitation

China will explore the use of multimodal transport documents as a title deed and accumulate experience in judicial practice to support related legislation.

China will also improve judicial review of arbitration by clarifying any applicable laws involved in awards made by arbitration agencies established in pilot free zones by foreign arbitration institutions.
Source: China Daily

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