Fueled by the CPC Jilin Provincial Committee and the provincial government, the China-ROK (Changchun) International Cooperation Demonstration Zone was officially launched on June 29 with the goal of building itself into a new engine for the revitalization and development of Jilin province and even the northeastern region, a pioneer zone of the regional economic cooperation in Northeast Asia, and a pilot zone of the all-dimensional and wide-ranging cooperation between China and South Korea.
What important role will the China-ROK (Changchun) International Cooperation Demonstration Zone play in strengthening the economic cooperation between China and South Korea? Recently, heads of relevant departments made an authoritative interpretation of this question.
According to Xu Peng, deputy director of the Policy Research Office of the Provincial Party Committee, in terms of fiscal and tax policies, strong support is to be provided for the demonstration zone to allocate special funds and the newly added special bonds issued by local governments are to be used to support the construction of major projects in the demonstration zone on a priority basis, in terms of financial support, the province is to actively coordinate financial institutions to provide credit and financial support for the key enterprises and projects with financing needs in the demonstration zone as well as encourage the enterprises and institutions of China and South Korea to set up China-ROK finance and development funds, in terms of land supply, priority is to be given to ensure the guarantee of new construction land in the demonstration zone, in terms of promoting the construction of major projects and creating an internationalized business environment, provincial-level major investment attraction activities, key investment projects and important investment resources are to lean toward the demonstration zone.
According to Gao Yulong, member of the Standing Committee of the CPC Changchun Municipal Committee and secretary of the Party Working Committee of China-ROK (Changchun) International Cooperation Demonstration Zone, the demonstration zone is to be included in the content of the China-ROK ministerial economic coordination dialogue, and the construction of the demonstration zone is to be directly promoted by the high-level efforts of China and South Korea. In the meantime, a bilateral working mechanism at the departmental level is to be established with the participation of the Region Revitalization Department of the National Development and Reform Commission, the South Korea’s Northern Economy Cooperation Commission, the Jilin Provincial Development and Reform Commission, the Changchun municipal government and the Management Committee of the demonstration zone to jointly promote the construction of the demonstration zone.
According to the requirements of the master plan, the demonstration zone is to conduct industrial chain cooperation with South Korea, vigorously develop the digital industry, high-end equipment and intelligent manufacturing, medicines supply and medical treatment, healthy food and other industries, cooperate with South Korean enterprises and well-known enterprises at home and abroad, introduce high-quality human resources, scientific and technological resources and enterprise resources, promote regional transformation, upgrade, innovation and development, and enhance regional economic strength and international competitiveness.
At the same time, the China-ROK (Changchun) International Cooperation Demonstration Zone is to replicate and apply the reform measures proven to work in pilot free trade zones, make efforts to implement the China-Japan-ROK Free Trade Agreement in advance, liberalize investment in the financial, tourist, scientific, technological, cultural and other fields on a trial basis, allow the access for foreign investment, smooth the channels for high-level connections, and open new international air routes. In particular, the demonstration zone is to take the lead in implementing the 144-hour visa-free transit policy in the northeastern region, lifting restrictions on the share of foreign-owned equity in securities, securities investment fund management and futures companies as well as performance brokerage agencies, allowing the establishment of wholly foreign-owned travel agencies in the demonstration zone, and piloting the operation of outbound tourism business for mainland residents except the Taiwan region.
The demonstration zone is to drive the multilateral cooperation among countries in the Tumen River region through the bilateral cooperation between China and South Korea and attract Russia, Japan, Mongolia and other countries to gather together, so as to form a new economic development pattern of Northeast Asia featuring mutual complementarity, combined transport development and win-win cooperation. The construction of the demonstration zone is a new carrier to implement the revitalization strategy of the northeast and promote the all-round revitalization of northeast China's old industrial base. The demonstration zone is to effectively drive the whole northeastern region to deeply integrate into the Belt and Road Initiative, push the revitalization strategy of northeast China's old industrial base to implement and align with the New Northern Policy of the ROK, and promote the regional integration and development.