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How Chinese Local Governments are Expanding Foreign Economic Cooperation

  • Author Sanghun Lee, Hongwon Kim, Joohye Kim, Jiwon Choi and Jaehee Choi
  • Date2020-10-27

   As the Chinese economy becomes more advanced and the internal and external economic environment surrounding China changes, so too does China’s strategy for external openness and economic cooperation. Accordingly, specific policies are diversifying from the past focus on manufacturing and foreign direct investment to services, overseas investment, bilateral and multilateral FTAs, and bilateral investment treaties (BITs).

   As the central government’s policy stance changes, China’s local governments are also promoting external openness and cooperation based on regional development stages, industrial structure, and regional development policies, reflecting the central government’s strategy. In particular, after the 19th Party Congress, the central government showed a strategic stance expanding external openness. In response, local governments have moved away from the traditional method of cooperation in the manufacturing sector centered on industrial complexes, and in recent years various cooperative methods have been promoted, including regional economic integration, service and investment, the use of FTAs, and innovations in institutions to expand external openness.
    Along with the shift in China’s foreign economic strategy, the economic cooperation environment surrounding Korea and China is changing as well, including the strengthening of protectionism, structural changes in the Chinese economy, the Korea-China FTA coming into effect, and the launch of follow-up negotiations. Therefore Korea needs to find new strategies and measures for economic cooperation with China, making it time to find new ways to expand cooperation with China’s central and local governments.
    Against this backdrop, this study aims to analyze the strategies, detailed policies and major cases of China’s central and local governments’ external openness and economic cooperation, and to draw policy implications for strengthening economic cooperation between Korea and China in the future. 

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