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Free Trade Zone and Innovation Zone to Work Hand in Hand in Guangzhou

Guangzhou will fully leverage the presence of two special investment zones – free trade zone and state-level independent innovation demonstration zone – to accelerate the formation of a system of rules and institutional framework for all-round, high-level opening-up, according to a draft outline of the city's 13th five-year plan.

The Guangdong Pilot Free Trade Zone (FTZ) comprising Nansha Area of Guangzhou and other areas is piloting a new system of administration allowing subordinate departments to give rating to higher-level authorities.

FTZ management bodies will evaluate the support given by the relevant provincial government departments and municipal government on the reform and innovation work in the FTZ, the ratings of which are to be included in the annual assessment of government departments.

The establishment of a linkage mechanism for the FTZ and state-level independent innovation demonstration zone was put forward at the eighth plenary session of the 10th Guangzhou municipal party committee. The concurrent implementation of the two national strategies gives Guangzhou more space to manoeuvre. The innovation-driven development of Guangzhou can be said to be over and above the general sense of scientific and technological innovation. It is overall innovation, not only involving technology, but also industrial organisation, product development, business models and entrepreneurship. Under the new strategic situation, reform and innovation of the FTZ will have richer content and offering more to see.

The taking shape of a business environment based on markets, internationalisation and the rule of law is the key for promoting reform and innovation through liberalisaton. From court trials with Hong Kong and Macau jury to offering a choice in the laws for arbitration with which Hong Kong and Macau investors are familiar, it is apparent that the rule of law in Nansha is taking shape. As the country's first FTZ court, the Nansha FTZ Court will establish a professional court hearing system exploring the establishment of negotiation and mediation mechanisms for cases involving Hong Kong and Macau.

Content provided by Picture: HKTDC Research
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