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Free Trade Zone Research Institute

Profile of Free Trade Zone Research Institute

Established by the merged Shanghai Lixin University of Accounting and Finance by incorporating GOOCOO Free Trade Zone Research Institute founded in 2013 with Pudong Research Institute founded in 2015, the Free Trade Zone Research Institute is a professional entity engaged in the research on free trade zone. In four years, with the supports from the Development Research Center of Shanghai Municipal People’s Government, Shanghai Municipal Education Commission, Shanghai Financial Services Office, Management Committee of Shanghai Free Trade Zone, Higher People's Court of Shanghai, People's Procuratorate of Shanghai, and famous universities and research institutions from Shanghai and all over China, the Research Institute positions itself as a policy-making consulting think tank for government and builds a research team, which consists of nearly 100 full-time and part-time professionals engaged in multiple fields like economics, management, law, finance and international trade and has made great achievements in academic research.

Built on and supported by academic researches, the Research Institute is a thinking bank and intellectual reserve to serve the construction of China (Shanghai) Pilot Free Trade Zone and promote the “innovation-based transformation and development” of Shanghai as well as the regional development of the Yangtze River Delta. Its main task is to organize applied researches, policy-making consultation and educational training on major strategic issues in the economic development of Shanghai and China, to accelerate the transformation of government functions, to explore the innovation of management mode, and to explore new thoughts on and new approaches of opening up and intensifying reform. Meanwhile, it focuses on the research on overall, comprehensive and strategic issues related to the “reform and development of Pudong”, aims to “base itself on Pudong, investigate Pudong, and serve Pudong”, organizes the integrative development and construction of Pudong and the FTZ, and successively releases ten academic products, including brand annual report, specialist proposal and high-level forum. 

Founded according to the strategic cooperation agreement framework signed by the Municipal Education Commission and the government of Pudong New Area, the Research Institute is a regional think tank platform of local colleges and universities in Shanghai formally recognized by the Municipal Education Commission.

Centering on the major issues related to the construction of free trade zone and the development and reform of Pudong, the Research Institute cooperates with the Development Research Center of Shanghai Municipal People’s Government on the policy-making consultation of municipal government, invitation for bid on the special project of Pudong and later-period management. According to the “13th Five-Year Plan” of Pudong New Area and the demands for the construction of Shanghai Free Trade Zone and Shanghai Technology Innovation Center, it writes serial policy briefs and research reports or important instructions or comments of main leaders at ministerial and provincial-level or above. 

Besides, the Research Institute organizes a series of high-end forums in China, including the Third High-Level Forum on the Construction of Core Functions of Shanghai International Financial Center, the High-Level Forum on the “Financial Innovation and Reform of Free Trade Zone”, the Law Forum of Shanghai Free Trade Zone (organized together with Shanghai Law Society), the First Shanghai New Financial and Judicial Forum (organized together with the Professional Committee of China Financial Judgment, the Higher People’s Court of Shanghai and Shanghai Financial Service Office), and the Second National Procuratorate Forum of Free Trade Zone (organized together with procuratorial units of eleven free trade zones including the People's Procuratorate of Shanghai), which have received much attention from all sectors of society.

For over 4 years as of its foundation, the Research Institute has made great efforts to promote the “three-in-one” construction of policy-making consulting service, discipline construction and talent cultivating mechanism, offered the government with policy-making consulting research and the industry with knowledge service, stimulated the industrialized transformation and application of research results, and made satisfactory staged achievements. It has gradually built itself as a think tank with certain impact on the research on the economic and social development of Shanghai and the construction of free trade zone. Its main achievements and characteristics include:

(1) Outstanding achievements on policy-making consulting

Since its foundation, the Research Institute has established long-term and stable policy-making consulting connections with departments like the Committee of Education, Science, Culture and Health of Shanghai, the Counselor′s Office of Shanghai Municipal Government, the Development Research Center of Shanghai Municipal People’s Government and Pudong New Area. Based on researches on the policy-making consultation on major issues related to the social and economic development of Pudong and Shanghai, the Research Institute has submitted nearly 100 internal reference reports. Among others, several reports have obtained written instructions from municipal leaders and several reports have been adopted by relevant departments or transformed into national proposals or proposals of the municipal committee of CPPCC. Its research results have obtained several policy-making consulting research result awards of Shanghai municipal government and several outstanding achievement awards of philosophy and social science of Shanghai.

(2) Outstanding achievements on the support of discipline construction

Since its foundation, the Research Institute has introduced many doctors from famous universities abroad and “985 Program” universities home; obtained several state-level projects and a dozen of provincial-level projects; completed a series of key projects of Shanghai Financial Services Office and projects entrusted by Jinqiao Economic Development Zone of Pudong; published annual research reports and academic monographs every year and totally dozens of high-level papers.

(3) Actual benefits and promotional value of projects

The research achievements of several policy-making consulting projects of the Research Institute have already resulted in actual benefits. The achievements of the Research on the Opening-up of Financial Service Industry Based on Negative List Management Model, a project of Shanghai Financial Service Office, have laid foundation for the establishment of the Guidance on the Negative List Management of the Opening-up of Financial Service Industry in China (Shanghai) Pilot Free Trade Zone. Its proposal of establishing a public communication platform for the block chain of Pudong has already been implemented.