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China Daily / 2020-06 / 30 / Page010

Local government moves forward opening-up with innovation

By YUAN SHENGGAO | China Daily | Updated: 2020-06-30 00:00

Beijing is advancing its opening-up in both foreign trade and the service sector to achieve high-quality development.

The city announced a series of action plans earlier this month to create new economic growth spots.

Among the focuses of the plans are opening-up and administrative services.

As the only pilot city for service industry opening-up expansion in China, Beijing boasts an advanced service sector, which contributed 83.5 percent of the city's GDP in 2019, nearly 30 percentage points higher than the country's average, according to government data.

The city's foreign trade in services surpassed 1.1 trillion yuan ($155.39 billion) last year, accounting for some 20 percent of the country's total.

Local authorities have decided to formulate a new initiative to upgrade opening-up in the service sector and industrial parks.

While stepping up innovative opening-up at the Tianzhu comprehensive bonded zone in the city's Shunyi district, Beijing is bidding to establish another bonded zone near Daxing International Airport and is preparing for a third one in the Beijing Economic-Technological Development Zone, also known as Beijing E-Town.

Authorities plan to build industrial parks featuring international cooperation to promote the Belt and Road Initiative, local officials said.

Making full use of the Daxing section of the China (Hebei) Pilot Free Trade Zone, the city government has decided to enhance administrative reforms and offer more favorable policies to attract foreign investment and promote the coordinated development of the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei region.

Hosting high-profile events, including the China International Fair for Trade in Services, the Zhongguancun Forum and the Financial Street Forum, is also included in the city's latest opening-up plan.

In addition, finance is a key sector in Beijing's opening-up drive.

As part of the construction of the country's financial management center, the city will continue opening-up expansion in the service sector, develop global wealth management, promote healthy flows of cross-border capital, improve international financial professional services and enhance fintech innovation and international collaboration.

The city government is calling on Zhongguancun Science Park, a national innovation demonstration zone, to attract prime startup business incubators and intellectual property service providers from around the globe to serve local high-tech companies.

The park is also encouraged to found overseas venture capital financial clusters, according to the plan.

Other sectors including online trade, international cultural exchanges and tourism are also required to expand their opening-up.

The city government is calling for fostering a group of globally influential industrial players involved in the digital economy to participate in creating and improving rules for digital trade.

IP protection is another focus of the opening-up plan. Beijing will strengthen its IP utilization mechanism, advance the construction of a diverse IP protection portfolio and improve protection related to new business modes, according to the plan.

The city government is applying to build a State-level innovation demonstration zone for foreign trade promotion, integrating various government services for foreign investors, ranging from market access and investment promotion to administration and protection, into a one-stop service system.

The city government is also beefing up efforts to continuously improve the city's business environment.

To this end, it is further streamlining administrative procedures, conducting regular assessment of reforms, standardizing agency services and removing intangible barriers that affect market access.

Government officials led by major leaders at the city and district levels visit local businesses regularly to facilitate communication between the government and industries.

Building a digital government is also on officials' agenda. The city is making a plan to open public data, roll out rules on shared data, upgrade public information service platforms and improve online administrative services.

Small and medium-sized enterprises are a vulnerable group hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The government will expand its SME database and provide targeted support for these businesses, especially those in the sectors of catering, accommodation, tourism, and theaters and cinemas. The government will also help them with technological innovation and financing capacities, according to the city's plan.




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