Open Governance
As of September, 522 Foreign Companies Have Been Established in the Sichuan Pilot Free Trade Zone

  More and more foreign companies have settled in the Sichuan Pilot Free Trade Zone. Allergan, a global pharmaceutical giant, recently announced that it will set up the first innovation center in the high-tech zone of Tianfu New Area in Sichuan Pilot Free Trade Zone, and focus on improving the capabilities of the talents engaged in medical cosmetology.

  The Provincial Office of Free Trade revealed on November 16th that as of September, 522 foreign-invested enterprises have been established in the Sichuan Pilot Free Trade Zone. Horizontally speaking, the area takes up about 14,000 of the province's total land coverage, attracting about 13% of the overall new foreign enterprises. Vertically speaking, the percentage ratio of its newly established foreign enterprises to the province total has registered a year-on-year increase of over 10%. Mr. Sheng Yi, a researcher at the Provincial Academy of Social Sciences, commented that “the Sichuan Pilot Free Trade Zone has created a vantage point in terms of inland open economy and breakthroughs have been made in the process.”

  What have attracted these foreign-invested companies? In addition to innovative resources and market advantages, Mr. Jason Smith, senior vice president of Allergan and president of its branch companies in Asia Pacific, Middle East and Africa, gave special emphasis to the “standard and orderly” business environment. The relevant person in charge of the Provincial Office of Free Trade introduced that this year, the area has comprehensively promoted the reform of pre-entry national treatment plus negative list, the management authority of foreign investment registration has been decentralized, and the “one window handling” for the foreign-invested enterprise filing, and business registration has been realized, covering more than 99% of the enterprises.

  Creating a business environment that is in line with international standards not only for the sake of foreign investment. Up to now, the area has explored and formed 350 institutional innovations, such as “‘once for all’ notarization”, “pre-export tax rebate for manufacturing enterprises” and “financial-oriented innovation of railway transport orders”. These fruits of reform are expected to be promoted nationwide. Among them, an administrative bureau for examination and approval was established in the South Sichuan Port Area, which has enabled the implementation of “filling with one form, processing at one window, and finishing with one stamp”. As such the work efficiency has increased by more than 80%. The “commitment system for the investment projects of enterprises” in Shuangliu and Qingbaijiang has shortened the approval time for manufacturing enterprises by more than two-thirds before production. The reform of customs clearance integration was promoted, and the efficiency of Chengdu Customs ranked among the top 42 in the country. The average customs clearance time of Luzhou Port has increased by more than 40%. The area also works with other 17 cities to deliver remote administrative services.

  The Sichuan Pilot Free Trade Zone covers an area of 119.99 km2, encompassing three areas, namely Chengdu Tianfu New Area, Chengdu Qingbaijiang Railway Port Area and South Sichuan Port Area. It mainly aims at implementing the central government's deployments to open up wider the gateway cities in the western region, build an inland belt strategic to support opening-up, create a vantage point for inland open economy, and achieve coordinated development between the inland and regions along the coasts, borders, and rivers.

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