Economic Watch: Opening up, tech cooperation essential to China's new development paradigm

Updated: November 27, 2020 Source:
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Further opening up and strengthening international cooperation in technological innovation are essential to China's pursuit of a new development paradigm, according to economists from a Chinese government think tank.

To build a new development paradigm, it is necessary to improve the system for a higher-standard open economy, said Zhang Qi, director-general of the Research Department of Foreign Economic Relations at the Development Research Center (DRC) of the State Council.

Floated in May, the new development paradigm of "dual circulation" allows the domestic and overseas markets to reinforce each other, with the domestic market as the mainstay.

Zhang noted that the country should further advance institutional opening up, and establish more high-level open platforms including pilot free-trade zones (FTZ) and free trade ports and give them greater autonomy to reform.

China rolled out a master plan in June on building the southern island province of Hainan into a globally influential free trade port, and subsequently opened three new FTZs in Beijing, Hunan and Anhui in September, increasing the total number of FTZs in the country to 21.

In the meantime, efforts should be made to further advance bilateral and multilateral regional cooperation, while upholding the multilateral trading system and improving the global economic governance system, Zhang said.

The signing of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP), the world's biggest trade pact, marks a new stride toward regional economic integration among Asia-Pacific economies.

Zhang believed the RCEP will provide more opportunities for communication and mutual benefit in trade, investment, services and other aspects.

Opening up and international cooperation will also be key drivers for China to improve its capacity for scientific and technological innovation, according to Tian Jietang, deputy director-general for the Department of Innovation Research of the DRC.

"China's international sci-tech cooperation will be conducted on the basis of mutual benefit and win-win results, rather than a matter of importing technologies," Tian said. "We hope that all our partners can benefit from this approach."

To enhance economic and technological cooperation with other countries, China has revised the catalog of technologies that are subject to export bans or restrictions.

The catalog deleted four items prohibited from export including microbial fertilizing and caffeine production technologies, while five items subject to export restrictions were removed.

Public health and epidemic prevention and control, including drug and vaccine testing, is now a priority in international cooperation, Tian said.

To stimulate the innovation of domestic enterprises, Tian said the market should play its role in order to lower their opportunity costs.

Besides the market, the government should help companies lower risks and costs, including by reducing firms' research and development expenditures, and cutting or eliminating taxes for high-tech enterprises, he said.

Editor: Yu Huichen