China’s Shenzhen gets green light for next wave of reforms By Reuters

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© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: A giant screen shows news footage of Chinese President Xi Jinping speaking at an event marking the 40th anniversary of the establishment of Shenzhen Special Economic Zone, outside a shopping mall in Beijing, China October 14, 2020. REUTERS/Ca

SHENZHEN, China (Reuters) – China’s state planner has given its blessing for the southern city of Shenzhen to pursue reforms in areas such as relaxed market access for cross border data trading and an electronics trading platform, guidelines published on Wednesday show.

President Xi Jinping has given Shenzhen greater autonomy for pursuing reforms, praising it for “achieving miracles” while on a visit two years ago to mark the establishment of the country’s first economic zone in the southern city four decades earlier.

Shenzhen would become a “model city for a strong socialist country,” Xi said in October 2020.

The new guidelines from the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) further spell out where the city should pursue reforms, across finance, data, medicine, education and elderly care.

The guidelines call on Shenzhen to develop standards for cross-border data transactions, with an eye to transfers between the Greater Bay Area, which includes Hong Kong and Macau.

It also calls on the city to develop trading products related to yuan settlements, and an offshore trading platform, though details are not spelled out.

Shenzhen should also build an international platform for trading electronic components and integrated circuits, providing support on customs declarations and other logistical matters.

In a bid to attract more overseas talent, the city should look into relaxing restrictions on Chinese citizens opening foreign schools, the guidelines said.

Other points including developing a system for online sales of prescription drugs, the relaxation of restrictions on medicines, improving the approval process for stem cell therapy.

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