On September 22, the Standing Committee of the 15th Beijing Municipal People's Congress held its 43rd session, to hear the report of the municipal government on steadily advancing the "two zones" initiative to pursue high-quality development (hereinafter referred to as "the report") was reviewed.
According to the report, with concerted efforts of the whole city, over 96% of the "two zones" tasks approved by the State Council have been implemented, with nearly 70 pioneering policies, 66 institutional innovations, and more than 140 landmark projects and functional platforms launched.
Over the past two years, a total of 7,075 projects have been included in the "two zones" initiative, with an estimated investment volume exceeding CNY 1.95 trillion, of which 3,497 projects have been implemented with an investment volume of CNY 959.75 billion. Driven by the building of the "two zones", in 2021, the number of newly established foreign-invested enterprises in Beijing exceeded 1,900, a record high since 2008. The city's foreign investment disbursed reached USD 14.43 billion, continuing to remain high. Navigating the impact of the epidemic, from January to August this year, Beijing attracted foreign investment of USD 15.24 billion, with a year-on-year growth of 37.9%, 17.7 percentage points higher than that of the national average.
At the same time, Beijing has made breakthroughs in adopting new policies to share more benefits from opening up. The policies were progressed one by one and a number of pioneering policies, first of their kind in the country, were initiated. The first cash-pooling program for multinational companies to integrate domestic and foreign currency management has been piloted and expanded to more pilot areas and companies. Another 10 pilot companies including Cummins and Shougang Group have been added to the program. Beijing has taken the lead in launching the first batch of 16 fintech innovation pilot projects in its capital market. The city has also launched China's first pilot program for integrating "duty-free, bonded, and cross-border e-commerce" policies, enabling enterprises to sell duty-free products offline while engaging in cross-border e-commerce online, and the sales volume has exceeded CNY 6.1 billion since its launch. Beijing has been the first to conduct cross-border e-commerce for imported drugs and medical devices and has expanded the categories of pharmaceutical products to 66. From January to August, the sales volume reached about CNY 300 million, with a year-on-year growth of 200%.
Next, Beijing will develop the "two zones" with high standards, offering "Beijing experience" to the development of an open economy of higher standards. Beijing will work on new strategic institutions to build itself into a pacesetter for issuing opening up policies. In light of the domestic and international situation and the city's strategic roles, Beijing will continue to align its trade rules with high-standard international rules, open up systems and mechanisms, and work on the opening up of key industries to form a system of institutional innovations for the "two zones" development step by step.
More efforts will be made to further advance the "two zones" initiative with focus on cross-border investment and trade, factors allocation, intellectual property rights, and dispute settlement. The system for high-standard opening-up of the services sector will be built in line with international standards. At the same time, Beijing will become a pacesetter in building industrial parks and create a world-class business environment. The city will explore the core advantages and driving forces of industrial parks and take a targeted approach to working on and removing the institutional barriers of each precinct. The action plan for upgrading key industrial parks will be launched at a faster pace.
(Reporter: Chi Mengrui)