Fujian FTZ's innovative thinking gets business booming
A train travels on the Pingtan Haixia Rail-Road Bridge of the Fuzhou-Pingtan Railway. [Photo by Nian Wangshu for China Daily]
Region hailed for helping companies trade goods and save money
The Fujian Pilot Free Trade Zone is striving to create a new highland of reform that integrates openness and innovation, said local officials.
Since its launch in April 2015, the zone has taken the lead in opening up the market and upgrading its mechanisms.
Wu Nanxiang, head of the Fujian Provincial Department of Commerce, said: "The Fujian Pilot Free Trade Zone adheres to institutional innovation as its core, boldly experimenting, breaking through and making independent reforms, and has launched a number of high-level institutional innovations.
"It has established an institutional system that is in line with the prevailing rules of international investment and trade, created a legal, international and convenient business environment, assisted in the all-around promotion of high-quality development, and established a new open economic system," Wu said.
Benchmarking itself against the World Bank's business environment evaluation index system, the zone is focused on the reform of "delegating management and services", promoting the innovation in management models with simpler approvals, higher efficiency and stronger supervision, offering better services and stimulating mass entrepreneurship and innovation.
Over the past few years, it has continued to cancel, delegate and adjust the approval items and streamlined procedures.
"We have also taken the lead in implementing the 'on-the-fly system' for the registration of enterprises' establishment, which can be completed in half an hour as soon as the relevant materials are complete," said Xin Lianhua, head of the economic development bureau of the management committee at the Fuzhou Area of the Fujian Pilot Free Trade Zone.
"The system integrates independent self-help measures for commercial registration, clarifies the new regulatory mechanism with credit as the core, and builds more transparent and efficient market access."
Xu Xu, deputy director of the administrative examination and approval bureau of the Pingtan Comprehensive Experimental Zone, said: "Pingtan, on the basis of implementing the reform of 'separation of licenses and licenses', carried out the pilot reform of 'one enterprise, one license', and transferred qualified industry access permits and business licenses.
"With one transaction, the market entity can carry out general business activities with a business license loaded with the information of 'one enterprise, one certificate', which greatly improves the convenience and predictability of the market entity's work."
Another key approach was to relax market access and establish an investment service system that conforms to international rules.
The Fujian FTZ has strengthened this connection with international advanced economic and trade rules, promoted the opening of key areas, carried out in-depth investment system reforms, and accelerated the formation of a fair, unified and efficient market environment.
Foreign investment is more open. The negative list of foreign investment access in the pilot free trade zone has been reduced from the initial 190 items to only 30 items at present.
Pingtan area took the lead in implementing the "Four Ones" of investment approval reform.
It has unified all administrative approval items of investment projects into four aspects: planning site selection and land use; project review and verification filing; design review and construction permit; and unified completion acceptance.
The Xiamen area has established a "five-one" working mechanism for project approval, namely, a blueprint for overall project implementation; a system for unified management; a single window to provide comprehensive services; a form to integrate application materials; and a set of mechanisms to standardize approval operations; and application.
The number of materials has been reduced from 373 to 76, which greatly assists enterprises and has become a national reform example.
The zone is also optimizing trade facilitation measures and is establishing a leading customs clearance supervision service system in the country.
The zone has promoted the reform of an intelligent customs clearance model to achieve simpler customs clearance procedures, shorter times and lower costs.
This has promoted the transformation and upgrading of trade and the development and growth of new business models and new platforms.
It has created a leading single service window for international trade in the country. Since its establishment in 2015, the Fujian Single Window for International Trade has been repeatedly upgraded to version 4.0, connecting more than 40 units, providing more than 100 port administration and trade services, and integrating customs, ports, commerce, taxation and finance.
Chai Yong, director of the Fujian Electronic Port Service Center, said: "The Single Window for International Trade allows data to run instead of people running errands. It provides enterprises with a centralized business management platform, and a data exchange platform for trade supervision departments, thus realizing a better customs clearance process.
"It is simpler and more efficient, with lower costs and better environment. At present, there are more than 16,000 registered users on the platform," he said.