Local university unveils institute to study free trade zones

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Shanghai University of International Business and Economics unveiled an institute on Saturday to study free trade zones and ports. It will research the development experiences of free trade zones and ports around the world, and the opportunities and challenges China faces in the area.

Another aspect will be looking into the new international trade and economic rules and providing suggestions for the government in the creation of related strategies. The institute will also study China’s policy and mechanism innovation, as well as risk control in free trade ports or zones, and evaluate the open economy and business environments there.

Lastly, it will study how China’s free trade zones could serve the Belt and Road Initiative and the future import expo. A symposium was also held on Saturday with experts from all over the country to share their ideas on the development of free trade zones and ports.

China has set up 11 free trade zones across the country, among which Shanghai’s was the first, and just announced earlier this month that it will build Hainan Province into a free trade port.

Liu Liang, a professor from Hainan University, said the decision was a good opportunity for Hainan, but it also faced great challenges in fulfilling this mission, including a lack of talent and “outdated” thinking.

Hainan has sent out 11 delegations to the 11 existing free trade zones to learn from their experiences.

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