Exclusive area to be built for cooperation with Japan, South Korea
The Qingdao Area of the China (Shandong) Pilot Free Trade Zone is located in Qingdao West Coast New Area. It is the largest section of the new Shandong FTZ. [Photo/qingdaonews.com]
East China's Shandong province will set up an exclusive area in the China (Shandong) Pilot Free Trade Zone (FTZ) with the aim of promoting economic cooperation with East Asian countries such as Japan and South Korea, according to a government work report released by Gong Zheng, the provincial governor, at the third session of the 13th Shandong Provincial People's Congress in Jinan on Jan 18.
The China (Shandong) Pilot Free Trade Zone, approved by the State Council last year, is expected to inject new impetus into the development of foreign trade in the province.
Gong said that Shandong will take full advantage of the Shandong FTZ and the China-Shanghai Cooperation Organization Demonstration Zone for Local Economic and Trade Cooperation to develop a multi-level cooperation mechanism, build demonstration areas, the docking of emerging industries, and improve customs clearance procedures.
Faced with increasingly complex global economic and trade relations and rising pressure from trade friction between China and the United States, Shandong plans to fully implement the Foreign Investment Law, push for the implementation of a pre-establishment national treatment system as well as a negative list which determines where foreign participation is prohibited or limited, shorten customs clearance time, and reduce import and export costs to create a more business-friendly environment.
The province will also increase cross-border e-commerce and establish cross-border e-commerce pilot zones in Jinan and Yantai in an effort to promote the online sale of high-quality Shandong products, according to Gong.
"Shandong will further expand imports and exports to the European Union, Japan, and South Korea to foster a stable high-end market," said Gong.
He added that the province will promote the high-quality development of foreign-trade, seize upon opportunities brought about by the soon-to-be-signed Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership, deepen trade and economic cooperation on the Belt and Road Initiative, continue to expand its 20 highest-potential markets, promote the growth of the Qilu China Railway Express, propel the development of traditional Chinese medicine, cultural tourism, and the trade of digital services, and work to increase foreign trade.
According to the government work report, more than 2,000 foreign-invested enterprises were established in Shandong last year, and the province's actual use of foreign investment is expected to reach $14.6 billion this year.