Shenzhen will study and implement 144-hour visa-free transit for foreign tourists entering the border from the cruise homeport and a 15-day visa waiver for cruise passengers in groups, according to a list of 40 comprehensive pilot reforms that Shenzhen is authorized to carry out to build the city into a demonstration area of socialism with Chinese characteristics.
(Photo: Nanfang Daily)
The list outlined wide-ranging reforms to be implemented in Shenzhen in six key areas. It came after China issued Oct. 11 a comprehensive plan on building Shenzhen into a model socialist city, which marked the country's latest move to further drive reform and opening up.
The list focused on implementation of the plan, featuring entries regarding the market-oriented allocation of production factors, the business environment, science and technology innovation, opening up, public services, as well as environmental and urban space governance, according to a National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) document published on its website.
On October 18, Ning Jizhe, deputy head of the NDRC, told a press conference in Beijing that the measures in the list will grant Shenzhen greater autonomy in the reform of important areas and key links.
Ning said the list itself is a significant upgrade from the usual case-by-case approval process.
Shenzhen has already started carrying out some of the measures, having piloted a registration-based system at the ChiNext board of growth enterprises and having passed a personal bankruptcy ordinance, which will take effect in March next year, Shenzhen Mayor Chen Rugui said at the press conference.
Shenzhen will further improve market-based allocations of production factors, create a market-oriented, law-based and internationalized business environment, foster a scientific and technological innovation system, achieve a higher-level of reform and opening up, improve the provision of public services, and improve ecological environment and urban space governance, Chen said.
Among the 40 authorized pilot reforms, more than 20 of them require the revision of existing laws and regulations, which showcases the strength and depth of the upcoming reforms, and the pilot reforms involve at least "three firsts," Chen said.
It is the first time that the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China has customized a general reform plan for a city in the new era: a package of "implementation plan + authorization list" has been adopted to push reform, and more autonomy has been given to a local government in important areas and key reform links by means of a list of authorized reforms, according to Chen.
According to the plan, Shenzhen will be given more room and flexibility to manage its land system and market, and to optimize the market access environment of private equity.
Shenzhen is encouraged to pilot reforms in the management of international industry and standards organizations, the bankruptcy system, the legal protection system of intellectual property, and administrative reconsideration and litigation systems.
The city will also optimize the approval process of work visas and residence permits for foreigners in China, and provide better entry-exit convenience for high-level foreign talent in investment and entrepreneurship, cultural exchanges, and trade activities.
More effort will be made to improve the litigation jurisdiction system of foreign commercial disputes and the international legal service and coordination mechanisms, and pilot the integration of domestic and foreign currencies for cross-border fund pools and the bond-issuing mechanisms of the local government.
China will support Shenzhen to take the lead in capital market construction, including promoting the ChiNext reform, and establishing a transferring listing mechanism for companies listed on the "new third board."