SHANGHAI: Systematic innovation has been a major highlight in the three-year history of Lin-gang Special Area, helping it to grow into a new economic driver for Shanghai and advance the country’s high-quality development, say officials and experts.
As the Lin-gang administrative committee has calculated, at least 87 systematic innovations have been developed in Lin-gang since its official launch on Aug 20, 2019, as part of the China (Shanghai) Pilot Free Trade Zone.
Up to 36 such undertakings were made for the first time on a national level.
Danish shipping firm A.P. Moller-Maersk has recently experienced such systematic breakthroughs.
At the end of May, when business was recovering from Covid-related disruptions in Shanghai, Maersk conducted its first series of coastal relays involving international cargo from Yangshan Port in Lin-gang to Tianjin.
Maersk thus became the first foreign company to conduct international relay shipments in China.
International cargo relay shipments between two Chinese ports have historically been considered cabotage and therefore strictly prohibited for foreign carriers.,
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In November 2021, the Transport Ministry announced that such business would be allowed by foreign companies on a trial basis until the end of 2024.
During the trial operations, international carriers will transfer part of their transshipment business from Busan, South Korea, or Singapore to Shanghai, said Cao Ming, head of Yangshan Customs.
More importantly, Shanghai’s role as an international shipping centre will be further consolidated, Cao said.
Europe’s major asset management company Amundi has also benefited from the systematic innovations in Lin-gang.
In late 2019, the French company was approved to set up the first foreign-controlled wealth management joint venture (JV) in China by teaming up with Bank of China Wealth Management.
With operations registered in Lin-gang, the JV saw its assets under management exceed 50 billion yuan (RM33bil) in one year’s time. More than 130 products have been released so far.
Opening-up in key areas has been one major task for Lin-gang over the past three years in order to better facilitate investment, said Zhao Yihuai, deputy director of Lin-gang Special Area Administration. — China Daily/ANN