Hongqiao hub gets lift to spur connectivity

Updated: Aug 18, 2023 By Shi Jing in Shanghai China Daily Print
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The National Development and Reform Commission, China's top economic regulator, released a new set of 24 measures on Wednesday so that Hongqiao International Opening-up Hub can persuade more multinational companies to set up their regional headquarters, strengthen its ties with neighboring cities to help advance the integrated development of the Yangtze River Delta region and further facilitate international trade.

The 7,000-square-kilometer hub connecting parts of Shanghai, Zhejiang and Jiangsu is projected to explore higher-level opening-up and reinforce international cooperation, according to the 2021 framework plan of the State Council, China's Cabinet.

Higher connectivity will be one highlight of the new measures. Test licenses and results for smart connected cars will be mutually recognized within the Hub. The construction of cross-province and cross-municipality road test areas for such smart vehicles will be supported.

While Shanghai and Suzhou will be supported to expand the trials of the digital renminbi, more application scenarios should be explored and experiences of successful attempts should be exchanged between the two cities, according to the new measures.

They further state that the Shanghai Hongqiao International Central Business District, which is the core area of the hub, should further consolidate its role as a center for high-end trade, services and exhibitions.

To realize that goal, a pioneering zone for "Silk Road E-commerce" should be set up in the CBD to explore new business models.

Meanwhile, qualified MNCs registered in the CBD will be supported to experiment with the integrated capital pooling for the Chinese yuan and foreign currencies. Eligible companies will be allowed to purchase foreign exchange up to a designated amount.

MNCs in China will be allowed to handle directly both the payment and receipt businesses denominated in the RMB and foreign currencies for their overseas member enterprises.

Such steps are aimed to give more autonomy to companies in terms of capital exchange, the NDRC said.

The new measures emphasize transportation connectivity within the hub. Jiaxing in Zhejiang province should step up efforts to build itself into an intermodal transportation center, while Taicang Port in Jiangsu province should develop better links with the railway and water transportation networks so that the Hub's role as a comprehensive transportation center can be further strengthened.

NDRC officials said in a written explanation that the hub is one of the places in the Yangtze River Delta region showing much vitality, growth potential and higher-level opening-up. According to the new measures, the hub's development should feature coordinated innovation, opening-up and infrastructure construction, the officials said.


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