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2015 Business Review I: Accelerating the Construction of the New Mechanism of the Open Economy
  

On September 2015, the Central Committee of CPC and the State Council issued the Opinions on Constructing the New Mechanism of the Open Economy (hereinafter referred to as the Opinions). It adapts to the requirement of the 3rd Plenary Session of the 18th Party Congress on comprehensively deepening reform and the Government Work Report 2015, and it is also a guiding document to lead China鈥檚 opening up in the new era. After the release of the Opinions, the Ministry of Commerce has taken active measures to sincerely implement the arrangement of the Central Committee of CPC and the State Council, and vigorously promote the construction of the new mechanism of open economy which is reciprocal, diversified, balanced, safety and efficient. The Ministry of Commerce mainly promoted the following key work:

1. Constructing the new mechanism for the sustainable development of foreign trade. The Ministry of Commerce introduced a series of policies and measures timely to speed up the cultivation of new competitive advantages of foreign trade, and develop cross-border e-commerce and service trade, and constructed a comprehensive and systematic policy system of foreign trade development initially. The Ministry of Commerce also implemented the adjustment of the burden sharing mechanism of export tax rebate, strengthened the export credit insurance and financing support, and conducted tax refund for overseas tourists. This intends to fully stimulate t he initiative of the local authorities and boost the confidence of the enterprises. The Ministry of Commerce strengthened the coordination mechanism of custom clearance and popularized the pilot of 鈥淪ingle Window鈥of international trade. Following the new trend of global value chain, MOFCOM also encouraged enterprises to carry out scientific innovation and business pattern innovation, supported the construction of Hangzhou Cross-Border E-commerce Comprehensive Pilot Area, and expanded the pilot of marketing purchase trade pattern. MOFCOM adjusted and strengthened the Leading Group of Import and Export, and conducted special supervisions on the implementation of foreign trade policies, clearance of charges in import and export.

2. Innovating the management system of foreign investment. MOFCOM promoted the amendment of three laws on foreign investment, drafted the unified Foreign Investment Law, amended and issued the Catalogue for the Guidance of Industries for Foreign Investment, and comprehensively introduced the management system of general filing and limited the approving for foreign investment, and largely reduced the access of approving. Combining China-U.S. and China-EU Investment Agreement negotiations, MOFCOM promoted the mode of pre-establishment national treatment plus negative list. MOFCOM supported the East and the West to co-build industrial parks, conduct innovative development projects of national economic development zones, construct international ecological cooperation park, and sign strategic cooperation agreement with the Import and Export Bank and China Development Bank. MOFCOM optimized the simultaneous and afterwards supervision and the safety review mechanism of foreign investment. This aimed to enhance the scientificness, standardization and transparency of the supervision. In the first 11 months of 2015, the actual utilized foreign investment was up 7.9% year on year, with the proportion of the service industry reaching 61.2%.

3. Building the new mechanism to promote the strategy of 鈥済oing out鈥 MOFCOM amended the Management Methods for Outward Investment, formulated the Management Plan for Implementing the 鈥淕oing out鈥Strategy during the 13th Five Year Plan, and drafted the Account System of Outward Investment. MOFCOM realized the paperless filing of outward investment, issued the Guide for Countries and Regions on Overseas Investment and Cooperation in 2015, actively built platforms for outward investment and cooperation, promoted outward investment facilitation, and implemented the dominant position of enterprises and individuals in outward investment. MOFCOM vigorously promoted international capacity cooperation, participated in the designing of related economic and trade measures of the Johannesburg Summit of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation, and bolstered the conducting of 鈥淐hina-Africa Industrial Cooperation Plan鈥 MOFCOM steadily promoted the integration of building and operation, coordinated and promoted the key projects like China-Laos railway and China-Thailand railway. In the first 11 months of 2015, China鈥檚 outward direct investment reached US$ 104.31 billion, up 16% year on year.

4. Optimizing the strategic layout of opening up. Guangdong, Tianjin and Fujian FTZ were newly established, the coverage of Shanghai Pilot FTZ were expanded, the opinions supporting the innovation development of pilot FTZ were issued, and 28 reform items were popularized in the whole country. These intend to exploit methods and gather experience for comprehensively deepening the reform. The innovation development League of Jing-Jin-Ji Development Zone and the Cooperation League of Yangtze River Economic Zone were built; the documents like Three-Year Implementation Plan of 鈥淏elt and Road鈥were issued; the economic and trade cooperation projects of 鈥淏elt and Road鈥were enriched and optimized; China-Belarus Industrial Park, China-Kazakhstan Khorogs international border cooperation center and China-Laos Mohan-Boten Economic Cooperation Zone were built. The aim is to promote the gathering of business, commodities and people, as well as the regional coordination development. MOFCOM deepened the opening up to Taiwan, Hong Kong and Macao, signed the CEPA Service Trade Agreement with Hong Kong and Macao, and promoted the implementation of the Cross-Border Investor-Protection Agreement.

5. Broadening new space for international economic cooperation. MOFCOM issued the Opinions on Speeding up Implementation of Free Trade Zone Strategy, signed China-ROK and China-Australia FTA, and the Protocol of Upgrading China-ASEAN FTA. MOFCOM vigorously promoted the negotiation process of RCEP, and launched the FTA negotiation with Georgia. This intends to further construct a high-level FTA network based on the surrounding countries, reaching g 鈥淏elt and Road鈥and facing the world. MOFCOM promoted the 10th WTO Ministerial Conference to gain fruitful achievements, including approving the Nairobi Ministers Declaration and reaching the expansion negotiations of Information Technology Agreement. MOFCOM promoted the legal compliance of trade policies smoothly, and completed the approving process of Trade Facilitation Agreement. Make full use of the platforms like G20, APEC and BRICS, MOFCOM took part in the formulating of international trade and economic rule, signed Memorandum of Understanding the Cooperation with related organizations of WTO, and strengthened cooperation mechanism like China-Arab States Cooperation Forum.

6. Building and optimizing the security system for the open economy. MOFCOM promoted the legislation of the Export Control Law, and studied to build the warning mechanism of key industries. MOFCOM handled the trade disputes on photovoltaic and steel comprehensively, and strengthened negotiation銆It also handled emergencies overseas properly like evacuation of overseas Chinese in Yemen and the terrorist attack in Mali. MOFCOM constantly cracked down on IPR infringement and counterfeiting, and launched the 鈥淏reezing鈥action to safeguard the image of 鈥淢ade in China鈥overseas. MOFCOM gradually built the security system of the open economy, actively preventing systematic risks.

In 2016, MOFCOM will understand the spirits of the central government profoundly, and steadily and effectively promote the work on constructing the new mechanism of the open economy. MOFCOM will detail the implementation plan, promote the work in all areas by drawing upon the experience gained on key points, act early and try early, and positively promote the innovation of system and mechanism of opening up, in order to open the new situation of a high-level opening up.

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