Apr 23, 2015

New free trade zones to open in Tianjin, Guangdong, Fujian

[Shanghai Bureau]
The General Office of the State Council of the People's Republic of China has officially announced that new free trade areas will be launched in the city of Tianjin and the provinces of Guangdong and Fujian, while the existing free trade zone in Shanghai will be expanded. Increasing the number of free trade zones in the country to four provinces/cities is a sign of China's commitment to further open its doors to foreign businesses in such areas as finance, trade and logistics. Even the non-bonded zones have been included in the expansion.

Notifications referring to the above new free trade zones were released on April 8. According to the notifications, the China (Tianjin) Pilot Free Trade Zone, the China (Guangdong) Pilot Free Trade Zone and the China (Fujian) Pilot Free Trade Zone will be launched.

The pilot free trade zone in Tianjin will cover a total land area of 119.9 km2, comprising three areas - 30 km2 at the Tianjin port (including 10 km2 in the Dongjiang Bonded Zone), 43.1 km2 in the Tianjin airport (including 1 km2 at the Tianjin Port Bonded Area's Airport Zone and 1.96 km2 in the Tianjin Binhai New Comprehensive Bonded Zone) and 46.8 km2 in the Tianjin Binhai New Central Business District (including 4 km2 in the Tianjin Port Bonded Area's Airport Zone/Bonded Logistics Park). The Tianjin Port Area will focus on maritime logistics, trade and financing/leasing, while the Tianjin Airport Area will concentrate on air cargoes, equipment manufacturing and information technology, and the Binhai New Area will focus on financing.

The Guangdong Pilot Free Trade Zone will occupy a 116.2 km2 site that will be made up of 60 km2 in the Guangzhou Nansha New Area (including 7.06 km2 in the Guangdong Nansha Bonded Port Zone), 28.2 km2 in the Shenzhen Qianhai Shekou Area (including 3.71 km2 in the Shenzhen Qianhai Bonded Port Area) and 28 km2 in the Zhuhai Hengqin New Area. The Guangzhou Nansha New Area will focus on maritime logistics, financing and trade, while the Shenzhen Qianhai Shekou Area will concentrate on financing, logistics and information/medical technology services, and the Zhuhai Hengqin New Area will focus on tourism, financing and cultural education.

The pilot free trade zone in Fujian will cover 118.04 km2 of land in three areas, comprising 43 km2 in the Pingtan area, 43.78 km2 in the Xiamen area (including 0.6 km2 in the Xiangyu Bonded Zone, 0.7 km2 in the Xiangyu Bonded Logistics Park and 9.51 km2 in the Xiamen Haicang Free Trade Port Zone), and 31.26 km2 in the Fuzhou area (including 0.6 km2 in the Fuzhou Bonded Zone, 1.14 km2 in the Fuzhou Export Processing Zone and 9.26 km2 in the Fuzhou Bonded Port Zone). The Pingtan Area will concentrate on tourism and investment trade, while the Xiamen Area will focus on new industries jointly built with Taiwan, modern services, international shipping centers, financing and trade, and the Fuzhou Area will zero in on advanced manufacturing industries, the "21st century maritime silk road" for international exchange, trade with Taiwan, and financing.

Meanwhile, the Shanghai Free Trade Zone will expand its site to 120.72 km2 with the addition of the Lujiazui Financial District (34.26 km2), Jinqiao Development Zone (20.48 km2) and Zhangjiang High-Tech Park (37.2 km2) to the existing Waigaoqiao Bonded Zone, Waigaoqiao Logistics Part, Pudong Airport Comprehensive Bonded Zone and the Yangshan Bonded Zone. Financial and maritime centers will be built mainly at the Lujiazui District, which lies at the center of Pudong New Area.

Now based on the "Negative List," industries that are not in the list will be open to foreign investments at the country's free trade zones. The said list that is applicable to the above four free trade zones that were announced contained 122 items in 50 industries under 15 categories, 17 items less than the list in the previous year. One of the stipulations in the list is that in the maritime and logistics segments, the areas of coastal shipping, coastal ship management, coastal cargo booking, air transport, postal/mail service, railway construction, offshore equipment/marine low-speed diesel engine/marine crankshaft manufacturing, ship repair and ship design will be limited to domestically funded enterprises.

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