Open Governance
Achievements Made by the South Sichuan Port Area of Sichuan Pilot Free Trade Zone in 2018

The South Sichuan Port Area is Located in the Longmatan District of Luzhou City

A Bustling Scene of Luzhou Port


More than a year ago, the South Sichuan Port Area of Sichuan Pilot Free Trade Zone in Luzhou has not yet caught the eyes of the public. A year had passed, the South Sichuan Port Area, covering an area of 19.99 square kilometers only, has experienced rapid growth which has promoted the high-quality development with its high level of opening-up. A hundred more institutional innovations were newly formed, with one being promoted nationwide, three in the province. Among them, “the list of work with specified processing hours for starting an enterprise” was approved and praised by the State Council; Breakthroughs have been made in developing the southward channel, and the two-way sea-railway transportations linking “Luzhou-Guangzhou-Hong Kong” and “Luzhou-Qinzhou-Singapore” have been opened. Thus Luzhou has established its connection with Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area and Tonkin Gulf Economical Zone.

Delivering new achievements

Fruits in institutional innovation have surmounted to a hundred, and the southward channel has secured remarkable development

In the past year, the South Sichuan Port Area handed over a “record of achievements” – 104 new institutional innovations, with 1 promoted nationwide, 3 in the province, 51 within the city; 2,706 newly registered enterprises, which added up to a total of 5,747 new enterprises, a figure increased 8.2 times on top of the existed enterprises.

According to Liu Guangming, secretary of the Party Working Committee of the Management Committee of the South Sichuan Port Area in the Sichuan Pilot Free Trade Zone, these achievements had a close bearing on institutional innovations, open cooperation and investment attraction.

Taking institutional innovation as an example, the South Sichuan Port Area has formulated “the list of work with specified processing hours for starting an enterprise”, which was first of its kind in the country. With this list, it would only take 18 hours at the most from company registration till granting permission for general production and operation. This experience was publicly praised by the State Council. The South Sichuan Port Area has put forward reform measures of “Internet + Taxation" and “Artificial Intelligence + Taxation". Apart from all that, the "pre-export tax rebates for manufacturing enterprises" would be promoted nationwide.

Shift our focus to open cooperation. Breakthroughs have been made in southward channel development. It has strengthened cooperation with Guangzhou and Qinzhou, and put into operation the sea-railway transportation to and fro “Luzhou, Guangzhou and Hong Kong” which runs 2 times per week, and opened the sea-railway transportation linking “Luzhou-Qinzhou-Singapore” to establish its connection with Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area and Tonkin Gulf Economical Zone; the efficiency of the eastward channel is improved, and cooperation with Chongqing, Wuhan, Shanghai and other coastal pilot free trade zones is under way to build the Luzhou Shipping Logistics Exchange. Direct liner runs 4 times a week. And the time consumed for water transportation from Luzhou to Shanghai has been shortened to 12 days from the original 18 days. The westward channel has been optimized in a fast pace, and the cooperation with the Qingbaijiang International Railway Port has been deepened. The train named “Rongou + Luzhou Port” has run 50 times. The water transportation of Yangtze River and the China Railway Express have been connected to provide seamless transportation services.

In terms of investment promotion, Shenzhen and Hong Kong investment offices were established, and the “Belt and Road” national pavilion has been put in place. Major industrial projects such as Hong Kong Hengkuan, Guangzhou Fund and Xinhaifeng were introduced. 119 new projects were signed, 37 of which worth more than 100 million yuan, 19 of which more than 500 million, and 6 of which exceed 1 billion. The total contracted amount added up to 21.16 billion yuan.

"Concerted efforts" pulled together

Eliminating “barriers” to strengthen collaborative innovation and cooperation across departments

On January 12th, the relevant person in charge of Sichuan Junyusong Trading Co., Ltd. recalled the process of handling the establishment procedures of the company, and gave a thumb up to the “list of processing hours” in the South Sichuan Port Area of the Sichuan Pilot Free Trade Zone. “In the past, at least 20 kinds of materials were required in submission, and 5 days at the least and more than 10 departments to pad a visit to so as to get the business done. Now, it only takes 3 hours to conclude the procedures of business license, seal engraving, tax registration, and opening of bank accounts.”

The change stems from the “list of processing hours”. The company can refer to the “three lists” of one hour, three hours and six hours, and process their businesses accordingly. At the same time, the comprehensive service hall will produce a “countdown” clock, which will urge the staff to improve their work efficiency.

Behind this innovation lie the fruits of collaborative innovation among many sectors, such as the Department of Industry and Commerce, Department of Public Security, Department of Taxation, and Ministry of Human Resources and Social Security. According to Xu Jian, Deputy Director of the Bureau of Industry and Commerce of Luzhou City, this innovation required us to break the “barriers” of information in multiple departments. In the face of doubts, the Bureau of Industry and Commerce of Luzhou City opened the database of enterprise to the public, so as to enable independent declaration of enterprise titles. "Some say we can't finish all these work. Then we would carry out reforms in the areas that fell short of completion within the specified time." Xu Jian said that in order to get through the "barricades" that were blocking inter-departmental coordination, the examination and approval departments of the Luzhou Industrial and Commercial Bureau and the Municipal Taxation Bureau have devoted ongoing efforts to optimize the process.

Another collaborative innovation fruit had everything to do with the “assistance” of judicial power. At present, the Luzhou Public Legal Service Center is under construction in the South Sichuan Port Area of the Sichuan Pilot Free Trade Zone. At the same time, the legal collaborative service platform sponsored by the Law Society of Longmatan District and the Judicial Bureau of Luzhou City has put into use for over a year.

According to the relevant person in charge of the Luzhou Municipal Bureau of Justice, there are no legal institutions such as courts, procuratorates, and arbitration committees in the South Sichuan Port Area of the Sichuan Pilot Free Trade Zone. The legal service resources are in fragmented supply, especially lack of foreign legal service agencies. However, a good rule of law environment is of great significance for attracting investment, expanding opening-up, and creating a sound market environment.

As a result, a collaborative platform of legal service devoted to co-construction and sharing, online and offline services, and coordinated operation came into being under such circumstances. As for offline services, a legal coordination service platform was set up in the South Sichuan Port Area equipped with full-time and part-time staffs who offer “instant case-taking” for those in need of consultation and help on legal issues; As for online services, a legal coordination service platform was opened providing services like "legal consultation", "arbitration", "mediation ", as well as "supervision and tip-offs".

The platform provides a full range of foreign-related legal advice and services for enterprises in the Pilot Free Trade Zone, and promotes enterprises to expand their international footprints and reduce the cost of corporate legal rights protection. At the same time, the platform has help dissolve contradictions and disputes arising out of pre-judgment through big data analysis, making it convenient for officials to conduct post-event supervision and take timely response measures.

Cross-sectoral collaborative innovation and cooperation are not limited to the co-establishment and sharing mechanism of judicial services such as the “list of processing hours” and the platform for legal services, many other fields are also involved. For example, the “single window” for substituting financing with pledge has been renewed, guaranteeing online taking and processing of relevant paper work, which has increased the work efficiency by more than 50%.

"9 of the pledge related business, including equity, movable property, immovable property, motor vehicles, ships, trademarks, patents, copyrights, and accounts receivable, all of which were originally owned by 7 departments such as the Department of Industry and Commerce, the Bureau of Land and Resources, and the Department of transportation, are integrated into the single window of substituting financing with pledge in the form of authorization or shared authority." The relevant person in charge of the Bureau of Land and Resources of Luzhou City remarked.

A "high quality" blueprint

By exploring the inland free trade port, it strive to lead the province as an economic sub-center

2019 has come with a new mission for us. On December 28th, 2018, more than 10 well-known domestic experts and scholars gathered in Luzhou to attend the 2018 annual work conference of the Expert Decision-making Advisory Committee of the South Sichuan Port Area in the Sichuan Pilot Free Trade Zone. The conference was themed on “Quality Development”.

On December 29th, 2018, the Sixth Plenary Meeting of the Eighth Committee of the CPC of Luzhou City was held. At the meeting, it was stressed that the main tasks of high quality development need to be highlighted. It is necessary to commit to opening-up to deliver hard work, create an open platform, and take the construction of the free trade zone as an opportunity to highlight institutional innovation, port capacity improvement and industrial clustering.

Securing high-quality development of the South Sichuan Port Area of the Sichuan Pilot Free Trade Zone is what worth fighting for in the future.

In the eyes of the relevant responsible persons of the Management Committee of the South Sichuan Port Area in the Sichuan Pilot Free Trade Zone, achieving high-quality development is to create an upgraded version of the Pilot Free Trade Zone, strive to build an inland free trade port, and endeavor to create an economic sub-center in the province. To accomplish this goal, several keywords must be sufficed.

Highlight institutional innovation and strengthen “initiative, integrated and differentiated” explorations. For example, officials should promote institutional innovations such as “pre-release and post-test of bulk commodity” and UAV maritime supervision and management projects; promote the operation of the Luzhou Hall of Tianfu (Sichuan) Joint Equity Trading Center and the construction of the South Sichuan Financial Service Center; launch reform regarding the examination of business registration and establish a national pilot program for joint cancellation of enterprises.

Improve port capacities. Officials need to strengthen and expand the Luzhou Port Bonded Logistics Center (Type B), the designated port for inbound grains, and the designated inspection scale and brand of imported meat. They also need to complete the infrastructure construction of the comprehensive bonded zone, and strive for approval as a designated comprehensive bonded zone and a designated port for the import of automobiles.

Build industrial clusters to strengthen the cultivation of "new powers, new driving forces, new business forms". For example, it has utilized the Hong Kong office to formulate foreign investment guidelines; It has set up awards for foreign investment contribution, promoted the implementation of Lixinzhongyuan and Smart Technology as soon as possible. More than 50 major projects were introduced; Headquarters economy, cross-border e-commerce, supply chain finance were developed. More than 30 new financial institutions have been introduced, and one enterprise was listed in the New Third Board. 20 companies have been listed in the Tianfu (Sichuan) Joint Equity Exchange Center. The three-year action plan for listing enterprises on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange has been launched, it will strive to list 10 companies in Hong Kong in three years and conclude financing of 5 billion yuan, and one will be listed in 2019.

At the same time, we should do a good job in platform construction, collaborative opening-up, and supporting services. We should promote collaborative opening-up, such as attaching great importance to the south, strengthening cooperation with Guangzhou, Shenzhen, Qinzhou, Fangchenggang, and Pingxiang, and striving to run 100 trains linking Luzhou and Guangzhou by sea-railway transportation for the whole year, and 100 trains linking Luzhou and Qinzhou through sea-railway transportation; we should serve Yunnan and Guizhou by strengthening cooperation with Zunyi, Bijie in imported timber logistics and processing, and by expanding the sources of foreign trade for the water and railway from Luzhou to Kunming, and by integrating into the Bangladesh-China-Myanmar Economic Corridor.

In the notebook of the main person in charge of Longmatan District of Luzhou City, a "small goal" of 2019 was set down: We will strive to complete the test work for the overall program and form more than 80 institutional innovation achievements; We will witness 3,500 newly registered enterprises with a registered capital of over 35 billion yuan; The total volume of import and export is to exceed 17 billion yuan; The container throughput is to reach more than 600,000 TEU, with the foreign trade container contributing at least 40,000 TEU.


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