China (Sichuan) Pilot Free Trade Zone was officially established, covering cities of Chengdu and Luzhou in the province on April 1, 2017.
Scope of implementation
Taking up a total area of 119.99 square kilometers, it consists of Tianfu New Area and Chengdu Qingbaijiang Railway Port Area in Chengdu, and South Sichuan Port Area in Luzhou.
Chengdu Area of China (Sichuan) Pilot Free Trade Zone (Chengdu Pilot Free Trade Zone) covers a total area of 100 sq km and consists of two areas, Tianfu New Area (90.32 sq km) and Chengdu Qingbaijiang Railway Port Area (9.68 sq km).
In 2017, the free trade zone saw 22,000 new tenant companies with a registered capital amount of 310 billion yuan, among which, 204 were foreign-invested, accounting for one third of the province's total.
In that year, the two cities made a 49.1-percent growth in foreign trade.
By the end of March 2018, the free trade zone had attracted 34,000 new companies with registered capital exceeding 400 billion yuan with investments from more than 300 foreign companies.
In January and February 2018, the foreign trade of the two cities grew by 25.5 percent.
Division of functions
Tianfu New Area is the core functional zone of modern services, high-end manufacturing, high-tech Industries, air-transportation related economy and port services, which will be built into a national clustered high-end industrial zone, innovation driven development leading area, open financial reform and innovation center, business logistics center and international aviation hub. In accomplishing the core task, Tianfu New Area works to be leading areas of opening-up in the inland regions.
Chengdu Qingbaijiang Railway Port Area prioritizes developing port services, such as international commodity distribution, de-consolidation exhibition, bonded logistics, vehicle import, financial services, and modern services, such as information services, technology services, exhibition services, aims to be built into a strategic fulcrum of international trade corridor which connects the inland with the Belt and Road Area.
Covering a planned area of 19.99 square kilometers, the South Sichuan Port Area is aimed at constructing the shipping and logistics center in upper reaches of Yanzi River that radiates the whole Sichuan, Yunnan and Guizhou, and the demonstration plot of transition and collaborative development of river-coast industries. It focuses not only on the development of modern services like shipping, logistics, port trade, medical care and education but also on advanced manufacturing industries and characteristic industries with local advantages like equipment manufacturing, modern medicine and food & beverage. The 6 major test zone to be established are the International Shipping Development Cooperation Zone, the Port Process Trade Transition and Upgrading Service Zone, the Modern Services Development Test Zone, the International Wine Development Cooperation Zone, the Riverside High-tech Industries Gathering Area and the Second Aviation Industry Hub.
Sichuan FTZ has three noteworthy advantages.
First, Sichuan FTZ has an economic advantage. Sichuan’s economic aggregate, market scale, infrastructure, business environment and demographic dividend provide an excellent economic environment for investment, and its market potential and future industrial driving force also have considerable strength.
Local superiority is the second advantage of Sichuan FTZ. Chengdu, Sichuan’s capital is a "Western gateway city and open highland", with the third largest number of consulates general, and plays an indispensable role in effective international exchanges.
The third advantageous aspect of Sichuan FTZ is innovation. Sichuan has many famous universities, such as Sichuan University, Southwest Jiaotong University and the University of Electronic Science and Technology, providing enormous numbers of well-educated talents for industrial innovation, and it also adopts encouragement policies for self-employment. Chengdu was praised by Fortune magazine as one of the "Top Ten Start-up Cities in China" last year.