China's FTZs beef up efforts to boost open development, report

Updated: April 7, 2022 Source: Belt and Road Portal
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The pilot free trade zones (FTZs) in China have beefed up efforts to boost development in foreign trade, investment and institutional innovation, etc., according to a report released by  Xinhua Silk Road of China Economic Information Service (CEIS) which is available on Xinhua Silk Road Database via

CEIS is the main body responsible for the integrated management and operation of economic information business of Xinhua News Agency, and the report is compiled by the team of Xinhua Silk Road under CEIS. Xinhua Silk Road is an information service platform and has been serving global participants of the Belt and Road Initiative through full-dimensional and one-stop news coverage, information products, consulting as well as think tank services since its launch in 2015.

The report introduces the development of the FTZs in China in 2020, covering institutional innovation, foreign trade and investment, opening-up, industrial development, related experience, etc. It also presents the achievements of institutional innovation made in these zones in detail.

It says that in 2020, although challenged by the hampered process of globalization and the severe impact of COVID-19, all the FTZs in China well coordinated the epidemic control and socioeconomic development, boldly made breakthroughs, and achieved prominent results in deepening reform, expanding opening-up, benchmarking against new international economic and trade rules, boosting industrial growth and serving national strategies.

The FTZs further streamlined the negative list of foreign investment access, improved management of foreign investment and better attracted foreign capital, says the report, noting that in 2020, the number of special management measures of the negative list for establishing foreign businesses in the FTZs was reduced from 37 to 30.

All the FTZs implemented the foreign investment law to improve the foreign investment promotion system, the foreign investment information reporting system, and the system of regulation in process and afterwards, etc., and protect the legitimate rights and interests of foreign investors, the report points out.

It also says that the FTZs took advantage of IT methods to diversify the means of investment attraction like entrusted, online and investment-based attraction of capital, and actively organized various online activities for attracting investment like online promotions, virtual conference, online negotiation and "cloud-based contract signing" to maintain close contacts with clients and investors.

For instance, it notes, Zhejiang FTZ organized the "cloud investment attraction" matchmaking conference and the online industry matchmaking conference for the whole industry chain of oil and gas that involved the contract signing of 19 projects with a total investment of over 35.1 billion yuan.

In 2020, China's FTZs continued concentrating on the core task of institutional innovation by deepening reforms in such areas as investment, trade, finance, in-process and afterwards supervision, to resolve deep-seated and structural issues, according to the report.

The FTZs proactively explored industrial development, factors guarantee and differentiated pilot tasks, and gained fruitful results of institutional innovation, it adds.

You may log on Xinhua Silk Road Database ( to read the full report in our "Reports-Special Reports" section.

Editor: Yang Yifan