(Yicai Global) Dec. 29 — To stimulate market activity, the Shanghai government has launched a business environment innovation pilot plan, stating that the coastal Chinese city will open up further to the outside world and lift curbs on foreign investment in more fields.

The blueprint specifies 172 measures to improve the business environment in 10 areas, including the market, government administration, investment, foreign business, innovation, and regulation, the city government said on its website today.

Restrictions will be lifted on foreign investment in accounting and auditing, architectural design, and credit rating services, according to the plan. Shanghai will also optimize foreign investment projects and overseas investment management services, and implement the foreign investment access system of pre-establishment national treatment plus the negative list.

The city will improve the level of cross-border trade facilitation by expanding reform to air and rail transport, experimenting with free cross-border flow of scientific research equipment and consumables, and simplifying import and export procedures of research and development equipment and samples, the plan shows.

Shanghai will also optimize the management of foreign companies and international talent, explore setting up a recognition system for international vocational qualifications and strengthen supervision of professional conduct.

Furthermore, the blueprint proposes that Shanghai focus on creating a more dynamic innovation environment.

Under the premise of ensuring security, the city must develop high-precision maps for smart and connected vehicles, and promote the use of blockchain technology in government work, livelihood services, logistics and accounting.

It should strengthen the protection of intellectual property, advance pledge financing, insurance and securitization of IP, and drive the realization of IP value through financial innovation.

The city also must move the digitalization of its business environment to a new level, the plan noted, adding that Shanghai must make government examination and administration services smarter and more precise to improve the facilitation of the business environment and provide companies with better services.

Editor: Peter Thomas