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China Free Trade Zones Explained

china free trade zones explained.jpeg

What: China Free Trade Zones (FTZs), each with its own particular focus, offers benefits for foreign companies such as faster registrations and customs clearance, warehouse storage, duty-free import, low foreign exchange rates, and the ability to move goods between FTZs and overseas without paying taxes in China.


Why: Foreign companies are able to engage in economic activities and practices that are not commonly accepted in most areas and make it easier for foreign companies to enter the Chinese market by setting up a Wholly Foreign-Owned Enterprise (WFOE) incorporation in China.


China first established its Free Trade Zone (Chinese FTZ) system in 2013 in Shanghai, and has since expanded it to include an additional 10 zones. Initially, China placed its first free trade zones in coastal areas where major commercial ports are located, but has begun to include inland locations, an indication of China’s desire to develop its interior regions. China also plans to transform Hainan Island into a FTZ to further capitalize on the island’s substantial land mass in the near future.

With the introduction of FTZs, foreign companies are able to engage in economic activities and practices that are not commonly accepted in most areas and make it easier for foreign companies to enter the Chinese market by setting up a Wholly Foreign-Owned Enterprise (WFOE) incorporation in China.

Each China FTZ has a particular focus, determined by the Chinese State Council, and offer benefits for foreign companies such as faster registrations and customs clearance, warehouse storage, duty-free import, low foreign exchange rates, and the ability to move goods between FTZs and overseas without paying taxes in China.

Each Chinese FTZ bears the name of the province or municipality in which it is located, and are generally divided into three areas. As with our discussion of the Chinese Tier Cities, we are providing this information in a table format for easy reference and access.

Map of the China trade zones from the  Wall Street Journal

Map of the China trade zones from the Wall Street Journal

China FTZ name (English)China FTZ name (Chinese)Year establishedTotal land areaFTZ FocusSubdivision (English)Subdivision (Chinese)Subdivision land area
China (Chongqing) Pilot Free Trade Zone中国
(重庆)
自由贸易试验区
2017120 km²High-end manufacturing Tariff-free servicesXiyong西永片区23 km²
Liangjiang两江片区66 km²
Guoyuangang果园港片区31 km²
China (Fujian) Pilot Free Trade Zone
china-fjftz.gov.cn
中国(福建)自由贸易试验区2015118 km²Taiwanese trade and investment Tourism and shipping "Maritime Silk Road" developmentFuzhou福州片区31 km²
Pingtan平潭片区43 km²
Xiamen厦门片区44 km²
China (Guangdong) Pilot Free Trade Zone
china-gdftz.gov.cn
中国(广东)自由贸易试验区2015116 km²Experimental area for synergies among Guangdong, Hong Kong and Macao Pilot zone for financial, cultural education, and high technology "Maritime Silk Road" developmentNansha Area of Guangzhou广州南沙新区片区60 km²
Qianhai & Shekou Area of Shenzhen深圳前海蛇口片区28 km²
Hengqin Area of Zhuhai珠海横琴新区片区28 km²
China (Henan) Pilot Free Trade Zone
china-hnftz.gov.cn
中国(河南)自由贸易试验区2017120 km²"One Belt, One Road" traffic and logistics development Incubate emerging industriesLuoyang洛阳片区27 km²
Zhengzhou郑州片区73 km²
Kaifeng开封片区20 km²
China (Hubei) Pilot Free Trade Zone
china-hbftz.gov.cn
中国(湖北)自由贸易试验区2017120 km²Central China development with a focus on industrial transfer "Yangtze River Economic Belt" developmentYichang宜昌片区28 km²
Xiangyang襄阳片区22 km²
Wuhan武汉片区70 km²
China (Liaoning) Pilot Free Trade Zone
china-lnftz.gov.cn
中国(辽宁)自由贸易试验区2017120 km²Focus on north eastern economic development, focusing on industrialization and talent attraction Sea and rail integrationShenyang沈阳片区30 km²
Yingkou营口片区30 km²
Dalian大连片区60 km²
China (Shaanxi) Pilot Free Trade Zone
shaanxiftz.gov.cn
中国(陕西)自由贸易试验区2017120 km²Focus on technology, agriculture, cultural, and education "One Belt, One Road" and "Western Development"Yangling Demonstration杨凌示范区片区6 km²
Central中心片区88 km²
Xi'an International Trade & Logistics Park国际港务区片区26 km²
China (Shanghai) Pilot Free Trade Zone
china-shftz.gov.cn
中国(上海)自由贸易试验区2013121 km²Focus on free trade, foreign investment, international shipping, and financial services Government transformations and legal system enhancements Offshore tax system development and researchBonded (consists of four sub-sections)综合保税区29 km²
Bonded: Waigaoqiao外高桥保税区
Bonded: Waigaoqiao Free Trade Logistics Park外高桥保税物流园区
Bonded: Yangshan Free Trade Port Area洋山保税港区
Bonded: Pudong Airport Comprehensive Free Trade Zone浦东机场综合保税区
Jinqiao Development Zone金桥开发区片区20 km²
Lujiazui Financial Zone陆家嘴金融片区34 km²
Zhangjiang High Tech Park张江高科技片区37 km²
China (Sichuan) Pilot Free Trade Zone
sccom.gov.cn
中国(四川)自由贸易试验区2017120 km²"Western Development" Focus on foreign trade, advanced manufacturing, and modern servicesChengdu Qingbaijiang Railway Port Area成都青白江铁路港片区10 km²
Chengdu Tianfu New Area成都天府新区片区90 km²
South Sichuan Port Area川南临港片区20 km²
China (Tianjin) Pilot Free Trade Zone
china-tjftz.gov.cn
中国(天津)自由贸易试验区2015120 km²Focus on manufacturing, shipping, and logistics Enhance synergies among Beijing, Tianjin and HebeiTianjin Airport天津机场片区43 km²
Binhai CBD滨海新区中心商务片区47 km²
Tianjin Port Dongjiang天津港东疆片区30 km²
China (Zhejiang) Pilot Free Trade Zone
china-zsftz.gov.cn
中国(浙江)自由贸易试验区2017120 km²Bulk commodities trading, especially oils Marine industriesZhoushan Offshore舟山离岛片区79 km²
Zhoushan North舟山岛北部片区16 km²
Zhoushan South舟山岛南部片区25 km²

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