More reform urged in State-level new areas

The General Office of the State Council issued a guideline on Friday, asking provincial authorities and State Council departments to deepen reform of State-level new areas.

The areas should insist on bolstering the real economy, speed up efforts to reform their management systems, and become more open and competitive in the international market, the guideline said.

The authorities should also develop the areas at a reasonable pace and in an environmentally friendly manner, and must not expand the areas excessively, it said.

The areas should prioritize quality development of manufacturing industry, make breakthroughs to develop key technologies, and nurture their own main industries.

Among measures to bolster those main industries, the authorities should encourage the areas to upgrade traditional industries, nurture quality companies and attract leading manufacturing companies at a faster pace.

The authorities should support the new areas in speeding up their development of strategic and emerging industries and blockchain technologies, and develop young, fast-growing "gazelle" companies that are globally competitive.

They should also introduce major industrial projects to the areas.

The authorities should enhance the areas' capacity for technological innovation, the guideline said, and construct powerful platforms to nurture innovation.

It also requires improvement of rewards to and protection of innovation, and lays out suggestions to attract talent and support startup companies.

The authorities should improve the ways the areas are being run, and can grant more powers to the areas, the guideline said, adding that they should "foster a first-class environment for doing business".

Companies in the areas should become more competitive, the guideline said. The authorities should encourage them to resort to advanced methods of management and follow internationally accepted trade practices and high-end standards.

The areas should also provide more convenient procedures for investment and trade.

The authorities should make sure the areas make scientific development plans and follow them through. They should also work on developing smart cities and improve infrastructure and public facilities in the areas.

China began establishing State-level new areas in the 1990s. The areas serve as platforms for carrying out the country's major development strategies and take on important tasks to promote reform and opening-up.

Such areas include the Pudong New Area in Shanghai, the Binhai New Area in Tianjin and the Nansha New Area in Guangzhou.

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