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China to Speed Up Upgrading of Development Zones

The General Office of the State Council recently issued its Several Opinions on Promoting the Reform and Innovative Development of Development Zones, which put forward comprehensive plans for doing a good job on development zones under the new situation.  

The document underscores the need to firmly embrace a development concept based on the tenets of innovation, co-ordination, green growth, opening up and sharing, strengthen overall planning for different types of development zones, accelerate their transformation and upgrading, promote their institutional innovation, improve their management and policy systems, and further enhance their functional advantages. It calls for efforts to persist in reform and innovation and reinforce the management characteristics of simple and efficient administration; persist in taking planning as guide and improve the spatial layout and quantitative scale; persist in clustering and intensive development and give scope to the effect of economies of scale; and persist in the development orientation and build a long-acting mechanism.

It pinpoints five key tasks for doing a good job on development zones:

First, optimise the forms and layout of development zones. Steps should be taken to uphold industrial development as the main direction, scientifically plan the functional layout of development zones, and continue to take the optimisation of business environment as the primary task. National-level development zones should become high-standard industrial parks with international competitiveness while provincial-level development zones should become regional economic growth poles.

Second, accelerate the transformation and upgrading of development zones. Steps should be taken to promote innovation-driven development, accelerate the optimisation of industrial structure, promote the development of an open economy, give impetus to the realisation of green development, and raise the level of infrastructure construction.

Third, fully deepen institutional reform in development zones. The management system of development zones should be improved in accordance with the principle of simple and efficient administration. Integrated and optimised development should be promoted and neighbouring and adjacent development zones should be encouraged to establish a unified management body and carry out unified management. Administrative management efficiency should be improved and economic management authority that can be delegated to the lower levels should be delegated to development zones. Steps should be taken to strengthen investment promotion work and create an international business environment. Efforts should be taken to explore diversified operational models for development zones and support enterprises engaged in development and operation in the zones to develop in a professional direction.

Fourth, improve the land use mechanism of development zones. Appropriate preferential treatment should be given to better-developed development zones that make intensive use of land in the allocation of additional annual land-use quotas. Steps should be taken to strictly manage land use, promote intensive land use, and improve land use efficiency in development zones.

Fifth, improve the management system of development zones. Planning and guidance for the development of development zones should be strengthened and environmental, resource and safety oversight should be reinforced. A dynamic management mechanism should be established by improving the evaluation and assessment system, examination and approval procedures and the public announcement system. The establishment, expansion and upgrading of development zones must be carried out according to prescribed standards and procedures.

For details of the Opinions in Chinese, please see:

http://www.gov.cn/zhengce/content/2017-02/06/content_5165788.htm

Content provided by Picture: HKTDC Research
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