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Conference focuses on Qianhai development in GBA

The 2019 Annual Conference of the Advisory Commission of Qianhai & Shekou Free Trade Area and Qianhai Shenzhen-Kong Kong Cooperation Zone was held with a focus on Qianhai’s financial and sci-tech innovations at the Wuzhou Guest House on Dec. 20.

Hua Jianmin, former vice chairman of the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress and director commissioner of the advisory commission attended the conference.

Hua said that Qianhai’s development and opening up has gone through four stages, namely the establishment of Qianhai Shenzhen-Kong Kong Cooperation Zone, the inauguration of Qianhai & Shekou Free Trade Area, the formal implementation of the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area strategy and the construction of a pilot demonstration area of socialism with Chinese characteristics.

“We should continue to give full play to the unique advantages of the advisory commission and make intellectual contributions to Qianhai’s building into a pilot platform for reform, opening up and innovation in the Greater Bay Area,” said Hua.

Shenzhen Mayor Chen Rugui said in his welcoming speech that Shenzhen will seize the great historical opportunities of the construction of the Greater Bay Area and the pilot demonstration area by accelerating the Qianhai new international urban center construction and promoting the opening up level of Qianhai.

Chen called for more constructive advices and suggestions from members of the advisory commission to help build Qianhai into a core engine of the Greater Bay Area and a demonstration area on Shenzhen-Hong Kong-Macao cooperation.

Tian Fu, member of the Standing Committee of the Municipal Committee of the CPC and director of Qianhai Cooperation Zone Authority introduced the achievements Qianhai has made in the past year.

Qianhai reported robust growth in the economic development in the first 11 months. Official statistics showed that the added value of Qianhai-registered companies grew by 15 percent in the first three quarters from the same period of last year. Tax revenues in the first 11 months increased by 18.4 percent, fixed asset investment went up 11 percent and the actual use of foreign investment reached US$3.756 billion, accounting for more than half of the city’s total and 3 percent of the national total.

Qianhai has become known in the country for its innovation ability and fast development over the past nine years.

Qianhai had made 102 institutional innovations this year, bringing the total number to 516, among which 50 have been duplicated and promoted nationwide, according to Tian Fu. Sixty-nine institution innovations have been promoted in Guangdong Province, 122 promoted citywide in Shenzhen, 137 promoted in Shanxi Province and 40 duplicated in Xiangfang District of Harbin in Heilongjiang Province. Qianhai has been ranked No. 1 in the institution innovation index compiled by Sun Yat-sen University for two consecutive years, Tian Fu told the conference.

Cooperation between Shenzhen and Hong Kong continues to deepen in Qianhai this year, with the opening of Qianhai Shenzhen-Hong Kong Design & Creative Industries Park, the second phase of Shenzhen-Hong Kong Innovation and Entrepreneurship Hub (the E-hub) and other projects. The E-hub has incubated 61 new startup projects this year, bringing the total number to 399, Tian Fu said. One-stop registration services have also been rolled out to streamline registration process for Hong Kong and Macao-funded businesses in Qianhai.

The Smart FTAX preferential tax service platform has gone online in Qianhai to serve cross-border commerce businesses. Qianhai has also deepened the reform on foreign exchange management. As of November, 437 enterprises from 41 countries and regions along the Belt and Road have set up companies in Qianhai, brining in US$1.697 billion in contractual foreign investment, according to Tian Fu.

The Qianhai authority has been striving to create a fair and transparent business environment based on the rule of law. A number of specialized courts, such as Shenzhen Intellectual Property Court, Financial Tribunal and the Shenzhen court of Guangzhou Maritime Court, have settled in Qianhai.

A series of favorable policies have been formulated to support the development of the finance, modern logistics, fintech and science and technology services sectors. The added value of high-tech firms in Qianhai reached 28.199 billion yuan (US$4.03 billion) in the first three quarters of this year, up 52.3 percent from the same period of last year. About 4,800 companies in Qianhai are engaged in providing fintech services such as blockchain.

The new urban center is also taking shape in Qianhai as a number of infrastructure projects including the Qianhai International Conference Center and the Harrow International campus have progressed smoothly. Fifty-nine urban roads have been completed and opened to traffic. Thirty-eight projects with a total investment of 50.6 billion yuan have started in the fourth quarter, said Tian Fu.