context: Following Opinions released by the State Council in January 2022, trade officials have now begun the selection process of pilot cities and zones, designated to advance synergy between domestic and global supply chains under the dual circulation strategy. Coastal regions such as FTZs (foreign trade zones) and SEZs (special economic zones) are likely to serve as the testing ground.

MofCOM (Ministry of Commerce) and 13 other agencies jointly issued ‘Notice on launching pilots for integrating domestic and foreign trade’ on 10 May 2022, specifying

  • pilot objectives
    • improving the integrated management of domestic and foreign trade over the next three years
  • pilot tasks
    • improving rules and regulations
      • revising rules that protect local market barriers and segregate regional markets
      • conducting assessments of fair competition and trade policy compliance
    • aligning domestic and international standards
      • actively adopting leading international standards via open and transparent procedures
      • promoting mutual recognition of Chinese and foreign standards
      • encouraging third-party qualification accreditation service agencies to expand global business
    • cultivating market entities with integrated management of domestic and foreign trade
      • supporting firms to enhance their R&D, brand marketing and manufacturing capacity
      • accelerating the digitisation of manufacturing supply chains
      • encouraging trading firms to develop independent brands
    • building development platforms to promote synergy between domestic and foreign trade
      • accelerating the construction of global consumption urban centres to upgrade domestic consumption
      • supporting firms to develop a network of overseas warehouses with global coverage
    • optimising the business environment for trading firms