On May 24th, state council published a plan to further deepen the reform and opening-up of the Guangdong pilot free trade zone (FTZ) to meet the most advanced international standards and enhance cooperation with Hong Kong and Macao.
By 2020, Guangdong FTZ will be a leading area for new open economic system, a symbol of cooperation for the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area, to serve the FTZ as an international shipping hub, trade center and a model of financial opening-up.
International rules and the creation of a better business environment are highlighted in the plan, which are the key issues to have drawn attention from global investors. For instance, reform of the commercial system and business registration will be continued, and market supervision will be strengthened.
Meanwhile, market access will be eased and made more transparent. The service sector will be more accessible to foreign investors. Restrictions on operation periods for foreign-invested enterprises will be canceled, except in special industries, the so called negative list, which will be upgraded this year.
It also underlines the protection available for intellectual property rights and rule of law in the FTZ. A cross-department and cross-regional mechanism will be set up for the transfer, reporting and investigation of IPR cases.
In terms of talent management, high-level foreign talent will receive more benefits regarding healthcare, children’s education, business and research.
As for an increased level of opening up, investment in ports along the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road will be expanded to forge a global port chain. The logistics channel via Hong Kong will be streamlined.
The zone should become a core hub of the global supply chain for domestic and foreign market, onshore and offshore business, cargo and service trade, and multinational corporations are being encouraged to set up global or regional centers in Nansha.
Furthermore, a 15-day visa-free policy for international cruise inbound trips will be implemented in the zone.