China (Fujian) Pilot Free Trade Zone

On December 31, 2014, the State Council officially approved the establishment of the China (Fujian) Pilot Free Trade Zone. It is among the second batch of pilot free trade zone in the Chinese mainland after the China (Shanghai) Pilot Free Trade Zone.

The China (Fujian) Pilot Free Trade Zone, covering an area of 118.04 km2, consists of three areas: Pingtan (43 km2), Xiamen(43.78 km2), and Fuzhou(31.26 km2).

Clear positioning

By geographical location: The Pingtan area focuses on building a cross-strait homeland and in international tourism island, providing more liberal measures to facilitate investment, trade, and capital and personnel exchange. The Xiamen area focuses on developing a demonstration area for cross-strait cooperation in emerging industries and modern service industry, an international aviation center, a cross-strait regional financial service center and a cross-strait trade center. The Fuzhou area focuses on building a base for advanced manufacturing industry, a platform for communication and cooperation among countries and regions along the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road, and a demonstration area for cross-strait cooperation in service trade and financial innovation.

By customs supervision modes: special customs supervision area(s) will focus on institutional innovation to facilitate trade, offering services in international trade, bonded processing and bonded logistics. Non-special customs supervision area(s) will focus on exploring innovation in investment system, so as to drive innovation in financial system and develop modern service industry and advanced manufacturing industry.

Superb natural environment

Fujian Province is located in the southeast coast of China, facing Tainwan to the east and close to Hong Kong and Macao. Covering a land area of 124,000 km2 and a sea area of 136,000 km2, Fujian is one of China’s main windows to the Asia-Pacific area.

Fujian is blessed with a moderate climate with an annual average temperature at 17-21℃ and abundant rainfall. The woodland accounts for 65.95% of the total area, ranking first in the country. Its water quality, air quality and ecological environment are among the best in the country, hence the reputation of “Refreshing Fujian”.

Excellent investment environment

Fujian is one of the most promising and competitive emerging region in China. In 2014, the province’s GDP grew 9.9% to reach RMB 2.4 trillion; the total retail sales of social consumer goods reached RMB 920.55 billion, increased by 12.9%; the import and export trade volume grew 4.8% to reach USD 177.5 billion; the paid-in FDI topped USD 7.11 billion, increased by 6.5%. By the end of 2014, a total number of 48,681 foreign invested enterprises had been approved and the accumulated paid-in FDI reached USD 100.1 billion. Seventy of the world’s top 500 companies have investment in Fujian.

Transportation: There is a comprehensive transportation network that integrates sea ports, expressways, high-speed railways and modern airports, offering seamless connection to all the provinces and cities in the Chinese mainland, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Macao and many foreign countries such as Japan, Korea and the Southeast Asian countries. Fujian has one of the five major port groups in the country with over 160 international container shipping routes that reach over 130 ports around the world. In 2013, the container throughput reached 11,700,000 TEU. There are five airports in Fujian, offering 218 domestic and international routes. In 2014 their transport volume reached 32,150,000 passengers.

Industrial support: Fujian offers strong industrial support. It borders the Yangtze River Delta Economic Zone to the north and the Pearl River Delta Economic Zone to the south. There are three leading industries including petrochemical engineering, equipment manufacturing and electronic information. Apart from that, there are also a number of strategic emerging industries including biomedicine, new energy, new material, energy conservation and environment protection, and cultural creative, and competitive industries such as light industry, textile and forest industry.

Communications: The communications service in Fujian is among the best in the country. IDD is available in every town and country and can reach over 180 countries in the world.

Human resource: Fujian is one of the most developed provinces in China in terms of education. The total number of Academicians who have origin in Fujian or work in Fujian ranks 3rd in the country. There are about 5,200 research institutions in the province. 85 institutions of higher learning produce a pool of 178,500 research and technical talents each year.

Promising prospect

Setting up a pilot FTZ is of great significance for Fujian Province. It helps to promote institutional innovation, create a more international, market-oriented and law-based business environment, increase the soft power for development and adjust the management of economy by the government.

The China (Fujian) Pilot Free Trade Zone aims to promote reform through further opening-up. The combination of further opening up, deepening reform, function development and institutional innovation will further drive the transformation of government functions and create a more international, market-oriented and law-based business environment.

The Zone will help to deepen cross-strait economic cooperation. By taking advantage of the national strategies and the strengths of Fujian, the Zone will contribute to further economic cooperation with Taiwan and play a leading role in the investment and trade liberalization process and facilitating capital and personnel exchange between Fujian and Taiwan. It will be a complementary and contrasting experiment to the China (Shanghai) Pilot Free Trade Zone.

The Zone will contribute to the national Belt and Road initiative. As the core area of the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road approved by the State Council, Fujian actively expand its economic and trade cooperation with the countries and regions along the Road to further its opening up to the outside world.

Source:

Official website of the China (Fujian) Pilot Free Trade Zone: http://www.china-fjftz.gov.cn/article/index/gid/8/aid/142