(Yicai) Sept. 21 -- The Shanghai Free Trade Zone should conduct an all-round adaptive testing of the rules of the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership for the whole of China and adopt innovative thinking about regulatory reforms, according to an official.
For China, joining the CPTPP would be like entering the World Trade Organization again, Zhou Hanmin, a member of the Standing Committee of the National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference, said at a forum yesterday marking the 10th anniversary of Shanghai’s FTZ.
The CPTPP is a free trade agreement, originally known as the Trans-Pacific Partnership, that was negotiated by 12 Pacific Rim countries, including the United States, which pulled out in 2017. The countries in the trading bloc account for 15.6 percent of global economic output. China applied to join in September 2021.
China should show the same determination as when it joined the WTO, Zhou, who served as deputy head of Shanghai’s Pudong New Area from August 2000 to March 2003, noted. It should conduct in-depth research on the content of high-standard international economic and trade deals, evaluate the impact of relevant rules on various fields in China, and continuously improve the level of opening-up, he added.
China joined the WTO in December 2001 following negotiations that lasted 15 years.
Due to the relatively mature development conditions of cross-border trade in services and digital trade in the Lin-gang Special Area of the Shanghai FTZ, the region is fully qualified to enforce and test high-standard international economic and trade rules, including the CPTPP and the Digital Economy Partnership Agreement, Zhou pointed out.
The rules and regulations of the CPTPP and the DEPA have higher requirements for cross-border data flow, and the opening-up of the financial sector and business environment, but China falls behind in digital trade and financial services, according to Zhou. So more open and high-standard policies can be tested in the FTZ, he added.
Since the establishment of the Shanghai FTZ in 2013, nearly half of the 302 institutional reforms of pilot free trade zones replicated and promoted nationally were initiated or piloted in Shanghai.
More than 80 percent of companies believe that the FTZ has significantly improved the business environment, and over 90 percent think that the efficiency of government agencies has been continuously improving after the zone was set up, according to the findings of a third-party questionnaire published during the forum.
Editors: Tang Shihua, Martin Kadiev