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Zhejiang free trade zone keeps chugging on

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Nick Bryant
Nick Bryant



No. 52, North Jinlin RD, Niansanli Industrial Park, Yiwu, 322000, China

Zhejiang free trade zone keeps chugging on

Oct 12,2021

"It took only eight months between our first application and the final acceptance test of the warehouse. It's really amazing and stunning speed," Zhou said.

China (Zhejiang) Free Trade Pilot Zone in Zhejiang province has been making great efforts to further liberalize trade in the area as well as promote common prosperity and integration of the Yangtze River Delta region.

The zone was expanded last year after receiving approval from the State Council to add Ningbo, Hangzhou and Jinhua-Yiwu areas to its existing Zhoushan area.

First set up in Zhoushan in 2017, the zone back then was made up of both inland and waterside areas covering 119.95 square kilometers. Last year, Zhejiang FTZ doubled its size when the three new areas were added.

In the first half, Zhejiang FTZ added 24,827 market entities, up 100.7 percent year-on-year, accounting for 8.6 percent of the newly added market entities in the province, and contributing 11.4 percent to the province's foreign investment.

Similar yet differentiated responsibilities

Currently, the four areas in Zhejiang FTZ are tasked with different development goals.

Zhoushan area has been forming a complete industrial chain for the oil and gas industry. Ningbo area focuses on the development of oil and gas, new materials, international shipping, global supply chains, foreign trade and intelligent manufacturing.

Hangzhou area has been accelerating the development of the digital economy, and Jinhua-Yiwu area has been building up a new international trade center.

Take Hangzhou area, for example. It has attracted 97 projects with a combined investment of 75.4 billion yuan ($11.61 billion) over the past year, including six projects invested by Global Fortune 500 companies.

The new factory of Hangzhou Panasonic (Comprehensive Bonded Zone) Co Ltd was the first Global Fortune 500 project to break ground in Hangzhou area, with construction beginning in June this year.

With a total investment of 300 million yuan, the 2-hectare smart home appliance manufacturing factory is expected to be put into operation in April next year and generate nearly 8 billion yuan in production value in five years.

It is the attractive preferential policies and favorable business environment in Hangzhou area that have attracted so much investment.

The clustering of market entities has also laid a foundation for more preferential policies becoming available.

Given that more companies involved in the biomedical industry have settled in the area, Hangzhou published measures in July to support the industry in pharmaceutical research and development, as well as overseas sales, which will be first implemented in Hangzhou area.

"Ningbo area, since its launch, has witnessed the landing of 35 major projects, with a total investment of 23.58 billion yuan, and we have worked around the clock to secure our position in project introduction and facilitation," said Zhang Yan, director of the Office of Free Trade Zone in Ningbo.

By the end of August, 66 major projects have been put into use in Ningbo area of the China (Zhejiang) Pilot Free Trade Zone.

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