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State-level new areas to thrive through reform, innovation

Updated: Jan 17,2020 08:10 PM

The General Office of the State Council issued a document on Jan 17 to guide State-level new areas toward greater innovation, entrepreneurship and higher-level opening-up, building them into hubs supporting the real economy with high-quality development.

Envisioned as a platform for the nation's major development and reform strategies, State-level new areas should give priority to the high-quality development of the manufacturing sector and deepen supply-side structural reform.

To catalyze growth in the real economy, the State-level new areas need to focus on industries of various forms, the document read.

Alongside the upgrading and transformation of traditional industries, they should expedite the introduction of leading manufacturing enterprises and top-performing businesses in the industrial chain.

The accelerated cultivation of strategic emerging industries is also urgently needed, the document claimed. The government should designate eligible new areas as national demonstration zones for high-quality manufacturing development or industrial demonstration parks featuring new industrialization.

To take over manufacturing industries from East China, new areas in central, western and northeastern regions need a long-term industrial transfer mechanism.

In addition, the document suggested the government allow State-level areas more autonomy while protecting current achievements in removing institutional barriers and stimulating policy-related innovations, among others.

It called for local government actions to foster a first-class business environment in the new areas and transform administrative concepts and methods. They should also streamline the business registration system to reduce the time needed to start a business.

The document paid special attention to innovation — an integral ingredient of the new areas — and recommended a range of support measures.

Colleges and universities and scientific research institutes should be encouraged to make the new areas a base for scientific research and development. Areas eligible for carrying out major projects should first be earmarked for those with national strategic significance and those listed in Scientific and Technological Innovation 2030.

Meanwhile, State-level new areas should play a role in protecting intellectual property rights. This should start with pilot programs where research institutes grant researchers ownership of or permanent right to use their own scientific and technological accomplishments. They should also build competitive enterprises boasting renowned brands and core IPR, it read.

According to the document, offshore innovation and entrepreneurship centers for overseas tech talent with more open and convenient management mechanisms will be introduced.

While encouraging new areas to raise investment and trade facilitation, the government will support eligible areas to establish comprehensive bonded zones and integrate customs clearance procedures for international freight trains.

The new areas should draw on experience of pilot free trade zones in reform and opening-up as part of broader efforts to further integrate into the division of labor in global industries, in line with internationally recognized rules.

State-level new areas in cities should respect the laws of their development, growing at a modest pace with green and low-carbon development, the document stressed.