Xinjiang Pilot Free Trade Zone approved
Updated: October 31, 2023 17:10

China approved setting up the China (Xinjiang) Pilot Free Trade Zone in a State Council circular issued on Oct 31.

Firmly holding the strategic role of Xinjiang in the overall development of the nation, the circular called for efforts to build the zone into a demonstration model of high-quality development for central and western regions.

To be integrated as an important hub in the country's domestic and international "dual circulation", the zone will serve the construction of core areas of the Belt and Road Initiative, support the golden channel between Asia and Europe, and lead the opening-up of the western regions, and contribute to the China-Central Asia shared community, the circular said.

After three to five years, the zone will see significant progress in the business environment, convenient investment and trade, and clusters of advantageous industries with shared resources and effective management coordination.

According to the circular, the FTZ, composed of parts of Urumqi, Kashgar, and Khorgos, covers an area of 179.66 square kilometers and will focus on emerging industries, labor-intensive industries, and modern service industry.

To speed up transformation of government functions, more work will be done to build a top-notch business environment, enhance international cooperation and service capacity for science and technology, and promote ecological protection and low-carbon growth.

While pushing forward digital government for efficient, standard, and smart administration, the Xinjiang Uyghur autonomous region and the Xinjiang Production and Construction Corps will delegate dual economic and social management authorities to the FTZ, according to laws.

Reform in investment will be deepened, the circular said, and measures will be taken to promote investment facilitation, and enhance the level of overseas investment and cooperation.

In addition, the FTZ will raise trade facilitation, develop new patterns in foreign trade, and promote integrated development of domestic and foreign trade to explore innovation in the sector.

Open and special industry system is also stressed, and the zone will boost traditional advantageous industries, and promote upgrade of the manufacturing industry and innovative growth of the digital economy.

Financial services will be strengthened, and cross-border use of RMB will be expanded in the zone, with a complete risk control and prevention system.

The FTZ will also build comprehensive logistics hubs between Asia and Europe, strengthen cooperation with neighboring countries, promote communication in culture and education, and enhance international medical service capacities, the circular said.

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