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The Construction of Malaysian and Korean Free Economic & Trade Zones: Experience and Enlightenments (No.186, 2019)

( drc ) 2019-12-10

By Zhang Qi, Luo Yuze, Zhao Fujun & Chen Hongna, Research Department of Foreign Economic Relations, DRC

Research Report, No.186, 2019 (Total 5686)


Abstract: At present, China’s economic development is facing a complicated and stern external environment. The rebalancing of power between big nations is getting intensified, trade protectionism and unilateralism are rearing their ugly heads and international trade rules are undergoing restructuring, all of which have posed unprecedented pressure on China’s institutional reform and open-oriented market operation. As a result, urgent efforts are needed to give a bigger play to the role of pilot free trade zones with intensified assessment on their performance. The successful practice and experience of Malaysia and South Korea in the development and regulation of their special economic zones make good reference to China. For example, when they selected the places for the establishment of economic zones, they gave priority to the strategic positioning of location advantages. While perfecting institutional arrangements for the implementation of relevant rules and regulations, they carried out special regulations on commodity trade within limited regions. In addition, they laid stress on policy incentives plus abundant authorization and flexible market-based administrative mode. Apart from refined supporting facilities and efficient interaction among ports and regions, they also attached importance to international cooperation. The construction of China’s pilot free trade zones needs to draw on international experience from various countries and make appropriate institutional innovations in light of China’s actual conditions.

Key words: free trade pilot zones, international experience, Malaysia, South Korea