Laws to cut red tape and standardise management practices are expected to top the agenda of Shantou's legislative bodies, according to vice-mayor Chen Youlie . The special economic zone (SEZ) in northeastern Guangdong province, which along with Zhuhai was granted the right to make laws at last March's National People's Congress in Beijing, will focus first on improving its investment environment. Several other major cities, including Shanghai, Beijing, Shenzhen and Xiamen, have the power, though economists warn that local laws are subject to central government oversight. Mr Chen said foreign investors should not expect a flurry of new legislation this year. Shantou planned to move slowly, with the emphasis on quality, not quantity. 'To make laws, you need to have a plan,' Mr Chen said. 'We're not going to go about this chaotically. Our motto is: fewer laws and more regulations.' The city has set up a law committee to research and draft legislation, and plans to boost the power and prestige of its municipal law bureau, Mr Chen said. Shantou would hire another 20 experienced lawyers from around the country this year, who would enjoy good salaries and benefits, he said. 'We don't have any experience in this area, so we are organising inspection tours to Shenzhen and Xiamen to learn from their experiences,' Mr Chen said. 'But we also have to take Shantou's specific conditions into account.' He said new laws unifying and standardising port management practices were essential to Shantou's goal of becoming a modern international port city.