context: Given an increasingly hostile foreign trade environment and diminishing export momentum, Beijing is looking inward for new domestic market potential to ease pressure for small exporters, while pushing its SOE champions to establish a stronger international footing.

Aiming to develop a stronger domestic market and facilitate domestic and international dual circulation, State Council issued ‘Opinions on domestic and foreign trade integrated development’ on 20 Jan 2022. The Opinions specify

  • goals by 2025
    • more effective domestic and foreign cooperation in
      • trade laws and regulations
      • regulatory mechanisms
      • business qualifications
      • quality standards
      • inspection and quarantine
      • certification and accreditation
    • further improvements in
      • integrated development of market players
      • communication networks
      • government management services
      • an integrated adjustment system
  • improving integrated domestic and foreign trade institutions
    • improving rules and regulations
      • strengthening the punitive compensation system for IP infringements and incentivising firms to innovate and sell products domestically
      • implementing anti-monopoly regulations and correcting local protectionism to form a national unified market
      • increasing information exchange with trading partners on technical trade measures, port supervision and product compliance
    • matching international trade standards
      • advancing opening strategy in free trade zones and actively participating in making international rules
      • promoting domestic and international standards certification connectivity
      • improving international recognition of intergovernmental conformity assessment results
    • unifying production lines, standards and quality between domestic and foreign trade
  • enhancing domestic and foreign trade’s integrated development capacity
    • supporting market entities’ integrated operations
      • encouraging qualified large commercial and logistics firms to go global and establish a global services network
    • innovating domestic and foreign trade integration models
      • advancing trade digitisation with modern information technology
      • constructing cross-border e-commerce comprehensive pilot zones
    • training domestic and foreign trade professionals
      • promoting ‘foreign language + professional skills’ training models
  • advancing domestic and foreign trade synergy
    • maximising the leading role of opening platforms like free trade zones, Hainan Free Trade Port and comprehensive bonded zones
    • streamlining market procurement and goods transactions through a series of trade expos
    • improving domestic and international logistics network including shipping, air freight and railway express