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Dalian Free Trade Area Has Presented a Remarkable “Report Card” After Four Years from Plate Hanging

On April 9, the News Office of Liaoning Government held a press conference to communicate the construction and development situation of Liaoning Free Trade Pilot Zone in the past four years from plate hanging. At the conference, Liao Xiaodong, Deputy Chief of Dalian Free Trade Area Management Committee, introduced the achievements of Dalian Free Trade Area.

In the past four years since its establishment, Dalian Free Trade Area has always been adhering to the core development philosophy of "enterprise oriented, innovation is the soul" to continuously promote high-quality development with high-level system innovation and industrial innovation, and making efforts to become the "best high jumper in Liaoning high jump team" to have effectively played the role of the "experimental field" of reform and opening up.

Looking back at the innovation and development practice in the past four years, Dalian Free Trade Area has experienced the following four stages: multi-point innovation, institution integration, achievement demonstration and system supply: it has taken the lead in accomplishing 119 reform pilot tasks as specified in the overall plan, and introduced more than 320 institutional innovation achievements accumulatively, with 3 institutional innovation measures selected to be the reform pilot experience of the State Council, 62 items of institutional innovation experience copied and promoted over the province, and 7 innovation cases continuously published on the homepage of the official website of the State Council.


Over the past four years, Dalian Free Trade Area has been continuing to deepen the reform of "streamlining government, delegating power and optimizing service" to forge with full efforts a world-class business environment. In comprehensively promoting the innovative mode of examination and approval barrier free, supervision interference free, a series of innovative measures have been launched, including the administrative confirmation system of subject qualification, the commitment system of business qualification communication, the "legal person space", "24-hour" online examination and approval, etc. As a result, enterprise registration "approval in seconds" and project construction commencement immediately after land availability have been realized.

The total number of newly registered enterprises is 34,000, which is 5.2 times that before the approval of the Area. Using 1/200 of the city's area, the Area gathers 1/9 of the enterprises in Dalian and 1/6 of the foreign-funded enterprises, and realizes 1/3 of the total import and export volume of Dalian.

In the past four years, Dalian Free Trade Area has been actively promoting industrial transformation and upgrading to have successfully realized the magnificent turn of a "time-honored brand". Through introducing a series of innovative measures, such as the regulatory mode of "internal processing consignment", etc., it has successfully promoted Dalian Haier Refrigerator Co., Ltd. to transform from a single foreign market into the domestic and international double-cycle system to give rebirth to the same. In comparison with the situation before the establishment of the Free Trade Area, Haier's refrigerator output increased by three times in 2020, with an increase in profit by 400 times and an increase in profit and tax by 80 times.

In the past four years, Dalian Free Trade Area has been continuously improving the level of trade liberalization and facilitation to have effectively promoted the in-depth development of the "original brand". In 2020, on basis of the original innovative experience of "bonded mixed ores", etc., it took the lead in the country to launch a series of innovative measures accepted by the national ministries and commissions, such as "cloud issuing of customs certificate for export goods", non-intrusion inspection, the four-step inspection method for false reporting and concealment of dangerous port goods, etc.

In 2020, under the dual adverse factors of severe and complicated macroeconomic situation and domestic and international epidemic fluctuation, the trading volume and throughput of the major bulk commodities in Dalian Free Trade Area still achieved a counter-trend growth. Among them, oil products increased by 4.5%, iron ores by 13.7%, imported soybeans by 17%, imported meat by 20.8% and marine fuel oil by 21.5%, with  the deep development of the "original brand" industries like bulk commodity trade and logistics, etc. successfully realized.

In the past four years, Dalian Free Trade Area has taken the lead in laying out the high-end frontier industries and accelerated the cultivation of new brand” development and growth. On basis of the original advantageous industries like automobile manufacturing, new energy, pharmaceutical and medical, etc., and giving full play to the advantages of the domestic leading scientific research institutions, such as Dalian Institute of Chemical Physics, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Sinopec Dalian Petrochemical Research Institute, the stem cell clinical research institute of the First Affiliated Hospital of Dalian Medical University, etc., strengthening cooperation with the domestic leading enterprises such as Sinopec, Guohua Group, Sinochem Group, etc. It has fostered and developed focally the international cutting-edge industries, including hydrogen energy, photovoltaic energy, stem cell and immune cell research and application and so on.

At present, the hydrogen energy industrial park covering 300,000 square meters has commenced construction, the domestic first "oil, gas, hydrogen, electricity and non-electricity" five-in-one comprehensive energy service station has been put into operation, the first 10 hydrogen fuel cell buses in Liaoning have been put into operation in the Area, and the stem cell application base is under way of planning and construction.

Dalian Free Trade Area also makes efforts to build a brand new system and mechanism to fully release the development vitality of the Area. It has taken the lead in legal institution reform in the whole province to break the identity boundary and implement an engagement system for all, cancel level management and implement a point-based assessment system, so that performance and salary are directly linked. After the reform, the staff number of the area management committee has been reduced from previous 310 to 107; the average staff age is 37, 11 years lower than that before the reform; there are 63 staffs with master’s degree or above, accounting for 59%.

At present, there is one system innovation achievement launched in Dalian Free Trade Area on average each week with no less than one key project landing or commencing construction. The reform dividends are fully reflected in system innovation and investment attraction, and are constantly released. In the first quarter of this year, there were 1,508 newly registered enterprises, with a year-on-year increase of 20%; the fulfilled general budget revenue reached RMB 560 million yuan, with a year-on-year increase of 14.1%.

This year is the beginning of the “14th 5-Year Plan”. Standing at a new starting point, Dalian Free Trade Area will continue to take institutional innovation as the core, be guided by the demands of enterprises, have benchmarking of the advanced international free ports, construction of a domestic first-class free trade pilot zone as the task, high-level opening up, high-quality development as the goal to launch constantly initiative, integrated, systematic system supply, continuously perfect and expand the eight leading industrial chains, accelerate the cultivation of the emerging industrial chains such as hydrogen energy, stem cells, etc.; focus on "five freedoms and one convenience" to strive to build the RCEP industrial cooperation demonstration zone and import trade promotion innovation demonstration zone, explore the construction of a free trade port, vigorously develop a bulk commodity trading center, and strive to be the "pacesetter among pacesetters and  bellwether among  bellwethers" for Liaoning's revitalization and development.