China announces new FTZs to boost the economy
On the 21st of September, the State Council of the People’s Republic of China issued the Notice [GuoFa (2020) No. 10] on “Issuing the General Plan for the Beijing, Hunan and Anhui Pilot Free Trade Zones and the Regional Expansion Plan of the Zhejiang Pilot Free Trade Zone”, announcing the increase of the existing Pilot Free Trade Zones to include three new zones in Beijing, Anhui, and Hunan and to further expand the Zhejiang Pilot Free Trade Zone.
The recent expansion of the project will bring the total number of Pilot FTZs in China to 21; these FTZs are important pilot projects which assist the development of market reformation in the rest of China. Each of the pilot zones has been attributed specific tasks and has received special market considerations to reflect so.
The Beijing Pilot FTZ will be focused on science-tech innovation, international commerce, and high-tech industries, covering up to 119 square km, and will contribute, together with the existing Hebei Pilot FTZ and Tianjin Pilot FTZ, to promote the development of the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei region.
The Hunan Pilot FTZ will include several areas in Changsha, Yueyang, and Chenzhou, to promote and develop the Central China region and the corridor between the Yangtze River Economic Belt and the Greater Bay area in Southern China. The Pilot FTZ aims to become an advanced manufacturing center.
The Anhui Pilot FTZ, the third new FTZ announced in 2020, would include three areas in Hefei, Wuhu, and Bengbu, focusing on the high-tech industries and promoting the further development of the Belt and Road Initiative.
The establishment of the FTZs in Hunan and Anhui is seen as a move to enable less-developed provinces to become more appealing to high-quality manufacturing, attract investment and boost efficiency, drawing investment in from their bordering provinces of Guangdong and Jiangsu.
The Notice also announces the expansion of the already existing Zhejiang Pilot Free Trade Zone by adding 119 square km covering three areas in Ningbo, Hangzhou, and Jinyi and aiming to develop an international trading hub for commodities and agricultural products and to become a vital innovation center.