Three new free trade zones will be established in China from March 1 next year, according to an announcement released on Friday (26 Dec 2014) during a regular meeting of the National People’s Congress.
Based on the successful model used at the country’s flagship China (Shanghai) Pilot Free Trade Zone over the past 15 months, new zones will now open in South China’s Guangdong province, East China’s Fujian province and North China’s Tianjin Municipality, officials said.
The three will be roughly the same size, at around 116-119 square kilometers, according to the China Daily.
In addition, the State Council said the total area of Shanghai FTZ will be more than quadrupled in size from the current 28.78 sq km to 120.72 sq km, to include within its boundaries the advanced manufacturing-based Jinqiao Export Processing Zone, the Zhangjiang High-Tech Park and financial center Lujiazui, all of which are currently located in Shanghai's Pudong New Area.
Liu Gang, deputy director of the Binhai Development Research Institute of Nankai University, said the planned Tianjin FTZ “will accelerate the city’s growth in two major sectors: the modern services industry and the manufacturing industry, and greatly help facilitate trade.”
“This opening up will also help the city attract more creative resources,” he told the China Daily.
The Pingtan Comprehensive Pilot Zone in Fujian province, designated in 2009 as the only experimental zone on the Chinese mainland open to Taiwan, has enjoyed success in attracting investment from companies based on the island.