On the 26th of August China announced an expansion of the existing Free Trade Zones pilot project to include 6 new zones. These 6 FTZs are to be established in the provinces of Jiangsu, Guangxi, Yunnan, Shandong, Hebei and Heilongjiang.
This expansion of the project will bring the total number of FTZs in China to 18; these FTZs are important pilot projects which assist the development of market reformation in the rest of China. Each of the pilot zones have been attributed specific tasks and have received special market considerations to reflect so; for example, the FTZ in Shandong is focused on the marine economy as it has tailored policies for marine industries while the FTZ in Guangxi has policies to encourage cooperation within the ASEAN region.
The proximity to the border of some of these new FTZs reflects China’s aim to increase trade ties with its neighbouring countries and expand the Belt and Road Initiative’s reach. Yunnan, for example, borders with Myanmar, Vietnam and Laos; its newly established FTZ will ease the cross-border movement of people and goods and encourage further economic cooperation with such nearby regions.
The move will also enable less-developed provinces to become more appealing to high quality manufacturing, attract investment and boost efficiency.
China initially started the pilot FTZs in Shanghai in 2013 (further expanded this August), which was then followed by 11 more FTZs in coastal regions such as Guangdong and Fujian and in central provinces such as Shaanxi and Sichuan. Sources: rsa-tax.com Business with China in 200-economies.com