|Zhang Ping, minister of the National Development and Reform Commission, answers questions at a press conference of the first session of the 12th National People's Congress (NPC) in Beijing, capital of China, March 6, 2013. (Xinhua/Wang Peng)|
BEIJING, March 6 (Xinhua) -- China's top economic planner said on Wednesday that the mainland is in the process of implementing most of the measures aimed at boosting mainland-Hong Kong cooperation in a pilot zone neighboring Hong Kong.
"The construction and opening up of the Qianhai pilot zone is being advanced smoothly," said Zhang Ping, head of the National Development and Reform Commission, China's top economic planner, at a press conference on the sidelines of parliament's annual session.
Only six of the 22 measures regarding the establishment of the zone need further discussion, such as issues related to lawyers' practices, since the judicial systems of the mainland and Hong Kong are different, Zhang noted.
"We are hopeful of coming up with plans to solve those problems in the first half of this year," he added.
The pilot zone, a stretch of 15-square-km reclaimed land in Qianhai Bay in western Shenzhen near Hong Kong and Macao, is considered a testfield for the mainland's financial opening up, after steps taken by the government to boost the internationalization of the Chinese currency RMB, or the yuan.
More than 180 financial enterprises had registered in Qianhai by the end of November, accounting for 76 percent of all the companies introduced into the area, according to data from the Qianhai Administration Bureau.
New Communist Party of China (CPC) chief Xi Jinping chose Qianhai as the location for his first inspection tour outside Beijing after being elected general secretary of the CPC Central Committee in November.
The Qianhai zone will take on reform measures in the sectors of finance, taxation, legal system, talents, education and medical treatment, and telecommunications.
Efforts will be made to encourage financial innovation in Qianhai, including preparations for a cross-border loan issuance experiment and the establishment of a trial zone to run cross-border RMB businesses.