NINGBO, China, May 17, 2023 /PRNewswire/ — On the morning of May 17, 2023, the China (Zhejiang) Pilot Free Trade Zone DEPA and International Supply Chain (Beilun) Forum was held in Beilun District, Ningbo City, Zhejiang Province.
Twenty Years of Mechanism Nurturing New Opportunities
The year 2023 marks the 20th anniversary of the establishment of the Zhejiang-Singapore Economic and Trade Council. The two sides have promoted a large number of cooperative projects in areas such as investment and trade, energy and ports, technology and education, park development and urban construction, and innovation of free trade pilot zone systems. Standing at the new starting point of China’s active participation in the Digital Economy Partnership Agreement (DEPA) and the upgrading of China– Singapore relations to a comprehensive, high- quality and forward- looking partnership, the Zhejiang-Singapore Economic and Trade Council will be committed to promoting the development of digital economy cooperation, advancing digital trade and trade digitization, and promoting the upgrading of cooperation and innovation between Zhejiang and Singapore.
Distinguished Guests Gathering to Discuss the Development of the Digital Economy
More than 200 guests from Zhejiang and Singapore, including government agencies such as the Ministry of Commerce of China, the Development Research Center of the State Council, the Infocomm Media Development Authority of Singapore, and the International Enterprise Singapore, as well as Zhejiang–Singapore digital economy and digital trade enterprises such as the Singapore Exchange, Development Bank of Singapore , Crimson Logic, Zhejiang Electronic Port, Trade Go, and Lianlian Technology, international commodity supply chain enterprises such as Rio Tinto, FMG, and Cargill, and members of the Yangtze River Steel Alliance such as Fangda Steel, Tranvic Steel, Eastern Special Steel, and Xuanli Special Steel, and state-owned enterprises in Zhejiang such as Wuchan Zhongda Group, Zhejiang Seaport Group, and Hangzhou Iron and Steel Group, gathered together. They conducted theme sharing and roundtable discussions on digital economy cooperation, the development of trade digitization, and the stability of the International supply chain, exploring the opportunities and challenges of connecting with DEPA.
Government-Enterprise Collaboration Promotes Openness and Upgrades
During the forum, the Zhejiang Pilot Free Trade Zone Enterprise Innovation and Development Alliance was officially established. It aims to implement the strategy of upgrading the pilot free trade zone proposed at the 20th National Congress of the Communist Party of China and promote institutional openness in Zhejiang through government-enterprise cooperation and innovation. In addition, representatives from the four areas of the Zhejiang Pilot Free Trade Zone and relevant companies jointly launched the action of connecting with DEPA and issued the “Green Trade, Digital Innovation” initiative. The former proposes to start specific rules for connecting with DEPA through aspects such as international trade “single window” interoperability, promoting paperless trade, strengthening financial technology innovation, carrying out cross-border data compliance governance and security assessments, enhancing business and consumer trust levels, exploring common standards for digital identity management, promoting digital technology innovation and cooperation, and promoting inclusive development of the digital economy. The latter initiative aims to address the paper document exchange process that currently hinders the improvement of international trade efficiency and the development of innovative models. It proposes the initiative of promoting green trade, opening up new horizons for digital trade by establishing a paperless trade management system, promoting the normalization of digital trade documents, participating in international standards for trade digitization, and building a digital credit system.
On April 1, 2017, the China (Zhejiang) Pilot Free Trade Zone was officially established, with a coverage area of 119.95 square kilometers. The whole area is concentrated in Zhoushan City. It is one of the seven pilot free trade zones in the third batch of China. Its strategic positioning is to become an important maritime open gateway demonstration zone in eastern China, a pioneer in the liberalization of international bulk commodity trade, and a resource allocation base with international influence. Its core mission is to promote investment facilitation and trade liberalization in the entire oil and gas industry chain.
On August 30, 2020, the Zhejiang Pilot Free Trade Zone expanded its area and established three new zones in Ningbo, Hangzhou, and Jinhua-Yiwu, forming a development pattern of “one zone, four areas.” and clarifying the “five functional positioning”, namely to create a commodity resource allocation base centered on oil and gas, a new international trade center, an international shipping and logistics hub, a digital economy development demonstration zone, and an advanced manufacturing agglomeration zone.
SOURCE Zhejiang-Singapore Economic and Trade Council
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