The Big Reveal: Reform Plan to Make Shenzhen a Global Model City

Shenzhen is all set to become the new special economic zone, announced Beijing on Sunday. China’s hi-tech capital will be able to administer bold reforms as a model for rest of the cities in the country.

A detailed list of reforms, that are about to be implemented in the Shenzhen city, was unveiled earlier this week. According to a report broadcasted by China Central Television, these wide ranging reforms encompass those related to legal, economic, medical, financial and social sectors.

The central objective of this reform plan is to make Shenzhen a sustainable city with a high rate of social satisfaction and to build it as an example of law and order of the highest degree.

According to the published report, other goals include manifesting the vision of converting Shenzhen into a global ‘benchmark’ in terms of its economic development, innovation, public service and environmental sustainability by 2050.

The reforms allow companies and investors worldwide to set up their offices in the city. They will also be facilitated by making flexible laws and regulations that encourage innovation. Under authority of the communist party, political change will inevitably come along with the expansion of political participation.

In an attempt to improve and promote connections between Shenzhen’s financial market and that of Macau and Hong Kong, the plan incorporates reforms that particularly integrate the two cities in the Greater Bay Area scheme. This will be done through expanding financial regulations, introducing cultural activities and granting residential status to those individuals from Hong Kong who live and work in Shenzhen.

Guo Wanda recalled how Qianhai Bay Free Trade Port Zone has had foreign exchange management and cross-border financing reforms.  Through this Wanda, who is Executive Vice-President of China Development Institute, hinted towards how Shenzhen has already been exploring economic reforms and is all set to take on newer ones.

This reform plan was introduced amidst the continued city-wide anti-government demonstrations in Hong Kong. Analysts had already suspected before the launch of this plan that its goals indicated how there was going to be a move away from Hong Kong to other mainland cities policy to drive development. This policy shift signals Shenzhen’s elevated status in the Greater Bay Area.

Earlier this year in February, a blueprint was released by Beijing that illustrated the intention to transform 11 cities – including Shenzhen and Hong Kong – into an economic powerhouse.