Wei Jianguo: Guangdong Signals High-Level of Opening-up
On December 4, the government of Guangdong Province released the “Policies and measures for further opening-up and actively attract foreign capital”, which has stirred wide publicity.
“This signals that Guangdong will develop an even higher level of open economy”, said Wei Jianguo, Vice Chairman of China Center for International Economic Exchanges and former Vice Minister of Commerce.
Wei Jianguo believes that as China is about to enter the 40th anniversary of the reform and opening-up, the “Ten Articles of Foreign Investment” reflects the new opening-up in Guangdong. In the future, Guangdong should rely on the core platforms of Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area and the Free Trade Zone, take the lead in building the national free trade port and make itself one of the regions with the highest level of investment facilitation, legalization and marketization in China and even in the world.
Creating a great business environment
Wei Jianguo said that expanding market access, strengthening financial incentives and reducing business cost are only the first step, next, Guangdong will also target some of the most important industries and markets in the world and gradually cultivate these markets in Guangdong so that businesses, talents and technologies will be attracted to this place.
“The policy focuses on bringing in R&D and innovation, but this is not enough. We must also make greater efforts to attract corporate headquarters and industrial design to Guangdong,” said Wei Jianguo. He suggested that apart from the current “Ten Articles of Foreign Investment”, Guangdong needs to build a great business environment to attract corporate headquarters, which will drive development, production, service and so forth.
In the past, Guangdong was the bannerman of China’s opening-up and it should continue to do so in the future. Wei Jianguo recommended that Guangdong should emphasize on the advanced manufacturing industries while cultivating the advantages of the high-end industries in the Pearl River Delta and making up the shortcomings in the industries of Guangdong and Northwest China. Meanwhile, it should also vigorously develop the internet industry and financial innovation by working with Hong Kong and Macao.
A new space for China’s opening-up
Recently, the United State government refused to recognize China as a market economy. Subsequently, the US tax reform bill was passed and the country’s corporate income tax dropped from 35% to 15%. Some people think that this will put pressure on China’s opening up and industrial restructuring and upgrading.
In Wei Jianguo’s view, the U.S. tax reform will bring investment and manufacturing industries back to the US in the short run, which will affect China to certain extent. In response, China should accelerate the supply-side structural reform, increase production efficiency, lower corporate costs and develop a higher-level open economy.
Guangdong is opening up new space for China. Wei Jianguo believes that the biggest advantage of Guangdong is openness and innovation. Furthermore, the province is trying to build the world’s best business environment in the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macau greater bay area.
“Guangdong has adopted a number of new policies and measures to effectively optimize the business environment and promote the opening-up and development,” explained Wei Jianguo.