China approves plan to develop demonstration zone for service sector

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China’s State Council has approved a plan to support Beijing in developing a comprehensive demonstration zone for the expansion and opening up of the service sector.

Here are some of the main tasks of the plan.

Promoting reform and opening up in key areas of the service sector

The plan called for the reform and opening up of health and medical services. Efforts must be made to support qualified medical institutions conducting stem cell and other clinical trials and support international cooperation in stem cell and gene research and development.

Establishing a green channel for the approval of imported medicine and devices urgently needed for clinical use in Beijing is imperative, the plan said, urging efforts to promote the application of real-world data in research in medical technology.

According to the plan, it is necessary to establish a comprehensive international service platform for traditional Chinese medicine and an online trading platform for traditional Chinese medicine to support enterprises exploring international markets.

It also called for efforts to promote qualified enterprises to participate in international cooperation, such as the Belt and Road, and help high-quality, innovative medicine go global.

In the field of financial services, the plan said it supports venture capital and equity investment institutions to carry out market-oriented cooperation with various financial institutions, adding that it will provide financing services to target enterprises in accordance with the nation’s laws and regulations.

For professional services, the plan urged efforts to explore and promote cooperation between professional service institutions in Beijing, and Hong Kong and Macao special administrative regions in accordance with the laws and regulations and establish a service mechanism for professionals from Hong Kong and Macao to come to Beijing.

Visitors look at a sandbox model of smart city solution at the environmental services exhibition of the 2023 China International Fair for Trade in Services (CIFTIS) in Beijing, China, September 2, 2023. /Xinhua

Visitors look at a sandbox model of smart city solution at the environmental services exhibition of the 2023 China International Fair for Trade in Services (CIFTIS) in Beijing, China, September 2, 2023. /Xinhua

Emerging industry rules and regulations

Stressing the need to promote the establishment of international rules for the digital economy, the plan voiced support for Beijing building an international information industry and digital trade port, strengthening international cooperation in the digital field and promoting the formulation of relevant international rules.

The plan said efforts must be made to strengthen the Beijing International Data Exchange Alliance, improve trading standards and market operation systems, and promote pilot data escrow services to promote the development and utilization of data resources.

It also added that all compliant funds related to foreign investments will be allowed to have free remittance in accordance with the country’s laws and regulations without delay.

Optimizing trade and investment institutional arrangements

The plan emphasized the need to explore connectivity and information sharing with major trading partner countries through the single-window system of international trade and promote the electronic transmission of trade documents.

Calling for improving the convenience of the cross-border flow of funds, the plan urged efforts to explore and optimize the negative list management model under capital projects, develop new types of offshore international trade, encourage banks to explore and optimize business authenticity review methods and improve the level of trade settlement facilitation for compliant enterprises.

It also supports the construction of joint laboratories under the Belt and Road and will set up a high-level platform for foreign scientific and technological cooperation and innovation.

Efforts must be made to encourage Beijing to carry out bilateral and multilateral cooperation projects related to environmental products and services, it said, calling for the continued implementation of projects such as the Belt and Road international health cooperation and the World Health Organization collaborating centers.

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