2 Oct 2019
China (Sichuan) Pilot Free Trade Zone
Officially launched on 1 April 2017, the Sichuan Pilot Free Trade Zone (FTZ) forms part of a third batch of government-endorsed pilot FTZs. All told, the zone covers an area of 119.99 sq km and consists of three sub-zones: The Chengdu Tianfu New Area (90.32 sq km inclusive of the Chengdu High-Tech Comprehensive Bonded Area 4 (Shuangliu Park) (4 sq km) and the Chengdu Airport Bonded Logistics Centre (Type B) (0.09 sq km)), the Chengdu Qingbaijiang Railway Port Area (9.68 sq km inclusive of the Chengdu Railway Bonded Logistics Centre (Type B) (0.18 sq km)), and the Chuannan Lingang Area (19.99 sq km inclusive of the Luzhou Port Bonded Logistics Centre (Type B) (0.21 sq km)).
In line with the Overall Plan for the China (Sichuan) Pilot FTZ (See Chinese version), as approved by the State Council, over the next three to five years, a high-level, high quality free trade park will be established within the site’s perimeter. With a well-regulated, legally-compliant environment, this will drive forward a new generation of investment and trade facilitation measures. Through the clustering of a number of innovative ancillary sectors and its commitment to maintaining efficient and effective oversight, the FTZ is also expected to play a lead role in the development of an inland open economic highland, while being a key advocate for the managed evolution of both the wider western region and the Yangtze River Economic Belt.
Foreign Investment Management
The Special Administrative Measures (Negative List) on Foreign Investment Access (See Chinese version), issued by the National Development and Reform Commission, set out unified special management measures governing issues such as equity ratios and senior management personnel of businesses operating in FTZs in China. For industry sectors falling outside the scope of the negative list, the principle of foreign and domestic investors receiving the same treatment will apply.
Special administrative measures relating to national security, public order, public culture, financial prudence, government procurement, subsidies, special procedures and tax-related matters not on the negative list remain subject to existing provisions. Foreign investment concerning national security is subject to review in accordance with the Tentative Measures for the National Security Review of Foreign Investment in Free Trade Zones (See Chinese version).
Positioning of Sub-zones
The Chengdu Tianfu New Area
This site will focus on the development of a modern services sector, high-end manufacturing, cutting-edge technology, airport-related economic development and port services. It will additionally establish itself at the heart of a new cluster of high-end industries and as a pioneering centre in the fields of innovation-driven development and progressive open finance. It will also function as a commercial logistics centre and an international aviation hub, while working in partnership with the western region’s gateway cities.
The Chengdu Qingbaijiang Railway Port Area
With a focus on developing port services – including international commodity distribution/transshipment, distribution/exhibitions, bonded logistics warehousing, international forwarding, automobile imports and specialist financial instruments – this site will play a pivotal role in the establishment of the west-facing trade corridor that will link the inland regions with the Silk Road Economic Belt. It will also look to make inroads into the services sector, largely through information provision, technological support and convention/exhibition activities.
The Chuannan Lingang Area
This will focus on developing a range of high quality professional services, including shipping logistics, port trade, education and medical support. As part of its remit, it will also look to nurture the advanced manufacturing industries, as well as looking to take a lead in a number of other sectors, including equipment manufacturing, medicine and food/beverages. Furthermore, it will play a key role in the development of an integrated transport hub, which will provide streamlined connections between the Chengdu-Chongqing city cluster and Yunnan and Guizhou, its southerly neighbours.
Policy and Regulatory Updates
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