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Hengqin to lead Zhuhai's higher level of open economy
By Li Zheng,  
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Investment promotion activities of seven Latin American countries (Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Cuba, Ecuador and Peru) wereheld in Zhuhai on December 15, 2016. The representatives of the seven country's consulates in Guangzhou and Zhuhai entrepreneurs discussed how to promote Sino-Latin American economic and trade cooperation.

For a start, Zhuhai will improve its business environment to the international standards.

Li Guanghui, vice president of the Chinese Academy of International Trade and Economic Cooperation, stressed at the first meeting of the 2nd Hengqin New Area Development Advisory Committee that, "With high-standard international trade and investment rules as the benchmark, Hengqin will actively explore trade-investment liberalization and facilitation, the fair market system and the rights protection system. This will greatly supportopen and coordinated economic development in Hengqin."

As Li noted, in recent years, Hengqin has been deeply involved in China's "Belt and Road" initiatives and has cooperated with Macao to accelerate the construction of a Sino-Latin American economic and trade cooperation platform.

Hengqin has further expanded its openingto Hong Kong and Macao and has promoted the latter's moderately diversified economy development through its "one center and one platform" construction. At present, the number of Hong Kong and Macao enterprises in Hengqin has reached 1,105, among which 669 involve Macao investment and 436 that of Hong Kong.

Niu Jing, director of the Management Committee of the Hengqin New Area, commented: "In the past five years, Hengqin's 10 reform and innovation measures have led the country and nearly 200 innovation-based initiatives have been achieved, initially creating a law-based, market-oriented and facilitated international business environment."

Meanwhile, Zhuhai's electronic customs clearance system, the international trade "single window" platform, was officially launched on November 23 for one-stop service to improve efficiency, further reduce enterprise customs clearance costs, promote trade facilitation, foster foreign trade growth and help Zhuhai speed up construction of an open economy.

Zheng Hua, general manager of Zhuhai Sinotrans Shipping Agency Co. Ltd., noted: "The one-time entry, data import, declaration and input has created a 60 percent improvement in efficiency. This not only shortens the clearance time, saves the human resources, but also reduces the pressure on customs staff."

E-commerce has become a great advantage of Zhuhai's open economy. Data shows Zhuhai's e-commerce transaction volume reached 90.25 billion yuan in 2015, an increase of 24.1 percent.

As one of the first group of special economic zones in China, Zhuhai has always placed reform and opening up in an important strategic position. Hence, Sino-Latin American economic and trade cooperation will be able to achieve great results.