Located at the crossroads between the Pearl River and South China Sea, Hengqin Island takes the form of an old Chinese violin, coming from a beautiful legend. In a sun-filled day of Summer 2009, on the western shore of the Pearl River estuary, a new great development project had just started.

On August 14, 2009, the State Council of the People´s Republic of China officially approved the Overall Development Plan of Hengqin, whereby Hengqin Island was  positioned as a demonstration area for the new model of cooperation between Guangdong Province, Hong Kong and Macau, under the principle of “one country, two systems”, through the deepening of reform and opening up and promotion of technological innovation, aiming to promote a new platform for the development of the western margin of the Pearl River estuary.

On July 14, 2011, the State Council officially approved the new strategy of implementation of an innovative policy in Hengqin that is even more special than the policies in force in the other special economic zones of China. Hengqin has, therefore, become a special area with very special features, even in relation to the other special zones of Mainland China.

In less than three years, Hengqin New Area has attracted investments to the extent of 120 billion Yuan (CNY). Of the 23 major projects, 16 are already firmed. Construction of municipal infrastructures, amounting to 13.5 billion Yuan (CNY) is progressing satisfactorily. Construction works for the new campus of the University of Macao were virtually completed in late 2012.

Facing the sea and within walking distance of Macau, the Hengqin is awaiting for  musicians from all parts of the world to chant the majestic song of building a new and harmonious home for the Chinese people.

The beautiful Hengqin Island
Hengqin is the largest island of Zhuhai Municipality, covering an area of 106.46 square kilometres. It is located very close to the three islands that make up Macau. According to the story, Hengqin has been the battleground of a decisive war in the Song Dynasty. The island is famous for its big, fat, white and crunchy oysters.

The entire island is surrounded by plants and panoramic big stones. The eco-system is intact, with rich flora and marine. In Hengqin, the breeze is gentle and the cranes fly high up to the sky.

National strategy
August 14, 2009 – The State Council of China approved the Overall Development Plan of Hengqin

December 16 2009 – Official establishment of Hengqin New Area

December 20, 2009 – President Hu Jintao on his inspection visit to Mingque (in Hengqin), stressed that the development of Hengqin is an important strategy for the country.

September 10, 2005 – Prime Minister Wen Jiabao inspected Hengqin

January 9, 2009 – Vice President Xi Jinping made an inspection visit to Hengqin

December 18, 2009 – Inspection visit of Hengqin by the then Deputy Prime Minister Li Keqiang.

General Planning
The three main positionings
• Demonstration area for exploration of the new cooperation model under the “one country, two systems”

• Pilot area for the deepening of reform, opening up and technological innovation

• A new platform to boost the upgrading of industries in the western shore region of the Pearl River estuary

Seven main industries
Leisure and tourism, business services, financial services, cultural and creative industries, traditional Chinese medicine and health preservation, research and development in  education and technology, and new and high technology

Urban Concept
Rural town, surrounded by water

General Planning
“Island Open”, with connection to Hong Kong and Macau

“Dynamics Island”, prosperous and adequate both for living and to explore business

“Island of Wisdom,” filled with information and knowledge

“Ecological Island”, energy saving and environmentally friendly

Extremely Convenient Means of Transport
The distance between Hengqin and Macau is only 200 meters. Presently, the two territories are connected by a bridge. In the future, there will be a perfect docking when the light rail system starts operation.

On the other hand, Hengqin is only 34 nautical miles from Hong Kong, and it takes only one hour by boat. After the opening of the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macao Bridge, a trip by car will be shortened to 30 minutes only.

Hengqin is very close to the Macao International Airport, where there are ten flights daily between Macao and Taiwan.

Within a radius of 100 square kilometers, there are 5 international and domestic airports, namely the Hong Kong, Macau, Guangzhou, Shenzhen and Zhuhai airports. As construction works for transportation projects, including the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macao Bridge, the Guangzhou-Zhuhai Light Rail, Guangzhou-Zhuhai Intercity Railway and the Jinhai Bridge are progressing, Hengqin will become the new transportation hub between Guangdong Province, Hong Kong and Macao.

Very Special Customs System
“Administration Divided by Sub-lines”

“In the first sub-line, the control will be more flexible, while in the second sub-line control will be effectively implemented. Movement of people and goods will be controlled separately, and management will be in accordance with the types of goods”.

Very Obvious Advantrages
Advantages with regards to geographical location: Hengqin is within walking distance of Macao, separated by a river. It is also possible to reach Hong Kong by the sea. Hengqin has also the backing of Pearl River Region, the more prosperous region in Mainland China.

Political advantages: Hengqin is endowed with an advanced economic system which makes it possible to articulate with Hong Kong and Macao, in addition to a very expeditious customs clearance, preferential taxation policies and very innovative institutional mechanisms.

Ecological benefits: 90% of land is not yet urbanized. 70% of the land is classified as areas with construction ban or limited construction. It is mandatory to use low carbon building materials in all construction projects. The industry sector follows the parameters of clean production and circular economy. Over 70% of the area consists of ocean, forests and wetlands.

Advantages in the fields of talents: There are in the vicinity several institutions of tertiary education, including the University of Macau, Zhongshan University, Jinan University, Jilin University, Beijing Normal University, Hong Kong Baptist College International United Collece (UIC ), offering various disciplines and courses, both basic and specialized, for bachelor, master and doctoral degrees. 120,000 students are currently receiving tertiary education in Zhuhai and Macao and there are over 25,000 graduates each year.

Especially preferential policies
On July 14, 2011, the State Council officially approved the implementation in Hengqin of policies that are even more innovative than those in force in other special economic zones. Although it started late, Hengqin has become a special area whose special features are even more special than those prevailing in other special economic zones. This is a unique situation in China.

Preferential tax policies
• Companies that are qualified to establish in Hengqin are entitled to a 15% reduction in income taxes.

• A management system of the registration of goods entering the Hengqin New Area, for production purpose. Such goods are either tax free or eligible for protective tariff.

• The exchange of goods between companies in Hengqin New Area is exempted from value added tax and/or consumption tax.

• Residents of Hong Kong and Macao working in Hengqin New Area only need to pay personal income tax on a par with what they pay in Hong Kong or Macao.

• Products manufactured in Mainland China and sold to Hengqin New Area are considered as exports, and as such eligible are for tax rebate.

Unique policy to capture talents
In the area of innovate management of human resources, preferential policies aimed at attracting talents will be introduced, including innovated management system for the registration of residence, improvement of the supportive measures as well as a favourable social environment for the recruitment of talents.

Innovative financial policies
• Financial institutions in the Hengqin New Area are allowed to set-up offshore foreign currency business, and start pilot projects such as the development of “Land Trust Fund” and conversion of currencies by individuals. On the other hand, companies are allowed to participate in the cross-border CNY settlement, so as to further encourage financial institutions to develop off-shore CNY business in Hengqin.

• Setting-up or introduction in Hengqin of trust companies, with a view of creating  “equity investment fund” (industrial), issue of multi-currency industrial investment funds, creation of venture capital, to nurture equity investment institutions, permission for the Hengqin financial institutions to carry out comprehensive management pilot innovative SME financing models, establishment of SME credit guarantee institutions and regional re-guarantee institutions, encourage the development of credit companies for extension of loan facilities to SMEs and investment in companies of small and medium-size.

• To support qualified development and operational institutions in Hengqin to issue debt financing instruments or bonds, through the banking system around the country.

• Emphasis on building a back-office base for the financial services and to encourage the setting-up in Hengqin of back offices for all types of business sectors. To promote the use of multi-currency IC in Hengqin.

Pilot project for implementation of Rule of Law and Business Environment
•Setting-up of administrative bodies to articulate with Hong Kong and Macao

•Implementation of a commercial registration system that can converge with the registration systems used in Hong Kong and Macao

•To promote the use of the international arbitration system