Since the establishment of the Shanghai Free Trade Zone, the demonstration experience of the Pilot Free Trade Zone has gradually been drawn on and tried by more cities and regions across the country. The state has also strongly supported the Pilot Free Trade Zone’s many pioneering initiatives and practice. At the same time, with the further penetration and integration of digital technology in various industries, and the further improvement of the openness, innovation and inclusiveness of the market environment in the digital economy era, the free trade zone has become a breakthrough in the digital economy. Over the past few years, many free trade zones have launched new plans and new policies, and how to use the free trade zone as the frontier for promoting digital economy, so as to maximize the vitality of the free trade zone and strive for China’s new pattern of opening attracted attention from all walks of life.
Shanghai Free Trade Zone: “Enhance Cross-border Digital Trade ” was mentioned in the “Overall Plan for the Lingang New Area of China (Shanghai) Pilot Free Trade Zone” released on August 6, 2019; “Several Measures to Promote Financial Opening and Innovative Development in the Lingang New Area of China (Shanghai) Pilot Free Trade Zone” which was released on May 8, 2020, mentioned that “to support relevant digital technology R&D institutions to establish platforms to handle the cross-border transfer of trade financing assets and promote cross-border RMB trade financing business’s development”, “Grasp the opportunities of the digital transformation of the financial industry, and support financial institutions to use fintech to empower innovative financial products and service models, including but not limited to digital banking, intelligent investment consulting, insurance technology, digital payment, etc.”
Hainan Free Trade Port: The “Overall Plan for the Construction of Hainan Free Trade Port” released on June 1, 2020, mentioned “expanding the opening of the data industry, and cultivating and developing the digital economy”, “focusing on platform carriers, improving industrial energy levels, and develop the information industry with a focus on Internet of Things, Artificial intelligence, blockchain, digital trade, etc., build the Hainan National Development Base of Blockchain Technology and Industrial Innovation “, “promote the practice of advance research results of artificial intelligence, big data, cloud computing and other financial technologies in Hainan Free Trade Port”.
Jiangsu Free Trade Zone: The “China (Jiangsu) Pilot Free Trade Zone Overall Plan” released on August 2, 2019, mentioned “to create a new type of service trade centre marked by digital trade, and promote the cross-border RMB in service trade”, “Promote financial support for technological innovation”.
Yunnan Free Trade Zone: The “China (Yunnan) Free Trade Pilot Zone Overall Plan” released on August 2, 2019, mentioned “focus on the development of digital economy, headquarters economy and other industries, and build an interconnection hub for South Asia and Southeast Asia”, ” Honghe District strengthens the joint development with Honghe Comprehensive Bonded Zone and Mengzi Economic and Technological Development Zone, focusing on the development of cross-border e-commerce and other industries; Dehong District focuses on the development of cross-border e-commerce, cross-border production capacity cooperation, cross-border finance and other industries to create a gateway hub of the China-Myanmar Economic Corridor.”
Currently, the Asia Digital Bank (AsiaDB), is accelerating its layout in China, and is considering gradually establish operating platforms in multiple domestic free trade zones. By making full use of its unique advantages in digital finance and cross-border finance, as well as the “trinity” location advantages – the free trade zone, offshore (Labuan), and overseas (Kuala Lumpur, Hong Kong) branches, making full use of both domestic and international markets and two resources to meet the needs of enterprises located in the free trade zone for cross-border trade’s business development in the context of the digital economy. At the same time, with the goal of creating a digital bank with free trade finance characteristics, AsiaDB will help and guide the relevant industries in the free trade zone to upgrade rapidly in the direction of “digitalization”, so that companies in the zone can enjoy the convenience, security and timeliness of operation brought by the new policies and new technologies. AsiaDB will also help enterprises to reduce financing costs, promote the improvement of investment and trade liberalization and convenience in the free trade zone, and contribute to the construction and development of the free trade zone.