Shanghai FTZ’s Lingang new area sees fruitful results of opening up

BEIJING, Dec. 1, 2023 /PRNewswire/ — A report from People’s Daily: On Nov. 5, 2018, Chinese President Xi Jinping announced at the opening ceremony of the first China International Import Expo that China would expand the China (Shanghai) Pilot Free Trade Zone (FTZ) to include a new section.

Since its inauguration on Aug. 20, 2019, the Lingang new area of the China (Shanghai) Pilot FTZ has launched a series of measures of opening up.

The gigafactory of Tesla, the first solely foreign-invested car manufacturing project in China, was put into operation. Amundi BOC Wealth Management Co., Ltd., the first foreign majority-owned wealth management venture in China, opened for business. The first financial technology company fully funded by a multinational financial group HSBC FinTech was established.

The Lingang new area also became the first in China to allow well-known overseas arbitration institutions to set up offices and launch foreign-related arbitration activities.

In 2020, the actual foreign investment in the Lingang new area reached $520 million, and the figure increased to $2.04 billion in 2022.

In order to enhance its capability in allocating factor resources globally, the Lingang new area has launched a pilot program on high-level opening up of foreign exchange management in cross-border trade and investment. So far, the volumes of cross-border domestic and foreign currency settlements have exceeded 2 trillion yuan ($282.73 billion) and $40 billion, respectively.

The area completed China’s first purchase of liquefied natural gas using cross-border RMB settlement from a member country of the Gulf Cooperation Council, and established a new type of public service platform for international trade.

Besides, the area has launched an international ship registration system, which ranks first nationwide in the number of ships registered for international routes. In 2022, the container throughput of Shanghai Yangshan Deep Water Port reached 23.92 million twenty-foot equivalent units, accounting for 50.6 percent of the total throughput of the Shanghai Port.

The Lingang new area completed China’s first security assessment for cross-border data flow in the field of intelligent connected vehicles, built a new type of data infrastructure system that meets international advanced level, established dedicated channels for international data transmission, and built a high-performance computing center.

It has constructed five international submarine fiber optic cables and two landing stations, and is preparing for building a direct international submarine fiber optic cable connecting Shanghai and Singapore, to attract more data elements to China.

The Lingang new area continues to enhance its capacity in breeding innovation and collaborating innovation globally. From Nov. 6 to 8, the 6th World Laureates Forum was held at the event’s permanent site in the Lingang new area, convening over 300 scientists from 25 countries and regions.

Now, foreign talents employed or invited by entities in the Lingang new area can apply for a residence permit for up to five years, and the area grants one-time work permits for no less than two years to urgently needed talent.

Besides, the area has relaxed restrictions on the employment of high-end overseas talent in the modern service industry, and established a positive list for filed practice and qualification examinations.

In order to build cutting-edge industrial clusters with international competitiveness, the Lingang new area has gathered leading enterprises and attracted over 200 supporting enterprises to settle in the area. In 2022, the total output value of intelligent new energy vehicles in the area exceeded 260 billion yuan.

At the same time, the Lingang new area has launched the Dishui Lake AI Innovation Hub, joined by 150 AI companies with more than 5,000 AI R&D personnel.

The Lingang new area is developing a specialized industrial park for the biopharmaceutical industry, with a focus on constructing a high-level research-oriented hospital. It is also establishing an independent, controllable, secure and reliable industrial cluster for domestic large aircraft. China’s first domestically developed engine for large commercial aircraft has been successfully used, and the self-developed large passenger aircraft C919 has commenced commercial passenger flights.

On Oct. 27, the International Data Economy Industrial Park was officially unveiled in the Lingang new area. According to the plan, the industrial park will be built into a high-level bridgehead for international data cooperation, a high-standard pioneer zone for institutional innovation in the sphere of the cross-border data system, a high-quality hub gathering international data industries, and a high-capacity new center for data circulation infrastructure.

So far, the Lingang new area has initially established a relatively mature system of investment and trade liberalization and facilitation, and has built a number of functional platforms with a higher degree of openness. It has initially developed an open industrial system that is internationally competitive.

The area has optimized its government services, consolidating the exercise of 1,215 administrative matters at the municipal and district levels. It has implemented a registration confirmation system, reducing the time required for enterprise registration by 75 percent.

It has also carried out a unified certificate and license application program, realizing one-time processing for enterprise entry and approval.

Since its inauguration, the Lingang new area has witnessed a significant increase in its economic strength and overall economic output. The area has produced 102 breakthrough innovation cases. It has signed nearly 500 projects in cutting-edge sci-tech industries, with total investment exceeding 600 billion yuan.

In the first half of 2023, the total output by industrial enterprises above designated size in the Lingang new area increased 52.6 percent year-on-year. The area’s fixed asset investment and tax revenue grew by 57.2 percent and 47.5 percent, respectively.