The Regulations on China (Beijing) Pilot Free Trade Zone (hereafter referred to as the Regulations) was passed at the 38th session of the Standing Committee of the 15th Beijing Municipal People's Congress on March 31. The Regulations will enter into force on May 1 this year.
The State Council released the Overall Plan for China (Beijing) Pilot Free Trade Zone (hereafter referred to as the Overall Plan) on August 30, 2020. The Pilot Free Trade Zone was officially established on September 24. Liu Meiying, a member of the CPC Leadership Group of the Beijing Municipal Commerce Bureau and Deputy Head of the "Two Zones" Development Office of Beijing, said that over the past year or so, Beijing has been accelerating the implementation of the Overall Plan, carrying out 142 (or more than 95%) of the 149 tasks. At the same time, the city has delegated the power to issue over 110 permits to the Pilot Free Trade Zone, including the construction permit and the safe work permit for construction companies. The Pilot Free Trade Zone, which covers only 7‰ of the total area of Beijing, has contributed nearly 30% to the increase in the number of foreign-funded enterprises and 12% to the trade volume in Beijing.
According to the Regulations, the Pilot Free Trade Zone includes a scientific and technological innovation area, an international business service area, and a high-end industry area. The scientific and technological innovation area will focus on developing the new generation of information technology, biology and healthcare industries as well as sci-tech services, among other industries. The objective is to build a digital economy pilot zone, a global hub for entrepreneurship and investment and a pilot demonstration zone for institutional reforms in the sci-tech system. The international business service area will center on the development of industries such as digital trade, cultural trade, commercial conventions and exhibitions, medicine and healthcare, international courier and logistics services as well as cross‑border finance. It will build a pilot demonstration zone for airport economy innovations. The high-end industry area will prioritize the growth of industries including business services, international finance, culture and creativity, biotechnology, and big health, etc. The aim is to build a hub for the commercialization of technologies, and bring together strategic emerging industries and international high‑end institutions.
In terms of attracting talents, Beijing will establish and improve the system of talent development in the Pilot Free Trade Zone, formulate innovate policies of talent recruitment, support market entities, institutions of higher learning and research institutes in the Pilot Free Trade Zone to attract talents from around the world, and provide high-level talents, innovators and entrepreneurs with convenient services in home purchase, house renting, medical insurance, and entry into and exit from China. The city will grant the administrative body of the Pilot Free Trade Zone the right to recommend high-level talents for hukou (household registration status). It will also give the administration organization of the comprehensive bonded zone the right to issue work and residence permits. In addition, market entities in the Pilot Free Trade Zone will be allowed to receive outsourced employees at temporary R&D posts, thereby increasing the flexibility of employment. Simultaneously, an innovation and entrepreneurship service platform will be set up to encourage talents to find jobs and start businesses in the Pilot Free Trade Zone.
(Reporter: Tai Sicong)