Founded on Aug 31, 2016, China (Shaanxi) Pilot Free Trade Zone is the only pilot free trade zone in Northwest China.
Scope of implementation
It covers a total area of 119.95 square kilometers, including the 87.76-sq-km core area, the 26.43-sq-km Xi'an International Trade and Logistics Park, and a 5.76-sq-km area of the Yangling Agricultural Hi-tech Industries Demonstration Zone.
The core area covers the Shaanxi Xi'an Export Processing Zone, the Xi'an High-tech Comprehensive Bonded Zone, the Shaanxi Xixian Bonded Logistics Center, parts of the Xi'an Hi-tech Industries Development Zone and the Xi'an Economic and Technological Development Zone.
By the end of 2017, the zone has housed 174 banking financial institutions, handling the cross-border renminbi (RMB) business for 2,686 companies and 224 branches of 31 commercial banks across the country, with the cross-border RMB settlement totaling 33.92 billion yuan ($4.92 billion). Its RMB business involved 1,589 overseas banks in 109 countries and regions.
It strives to set up a new system of innovation coinciding with the general rules of international investment and trade in the near future, to create a business environment of legalization, internationalization and facilitation, and to build itself into a zone with a complete chain of supportive industries and favorable policies to promote the implementation of the Belt and Road Initiative and boost the development of West China.
Division of functions
Yangling Area is the only free trade zone in China with a special focus on agricultural development. It is designed to be a center for “Belt and Road” international cooperation in modern agriculture and a world-famous city of agricultural technology innovation. It focuses on the innovation, demonstration and promotion of agricultural technologies and aims to strengthen international agricultural cooperation and exchanges and facilitate trade in this field.
Xi'an International Trade and Logistics Park is an international inland free port, focusing on the development of international trade, modern logistics, port industry, financial industry, e-commerce, cultural and sports industries.
Xixian New Area focuses on developing modern service industries such as aviation logistics, aviation maintenance, health care, cultural tourism, financial trade, and headquarters economy.
Shaanxi FTZ has three main advantages.
The first advantage of Shaanxi is its location. Shaanxi is the starting point of The Belt and Road Initiative, the government has given Shaanxi the mission of building a new inland highland of reform and opening-up, and many of its plans have been upgraded to the national strategy level, which enables Shaanxi to gain more support.
Shaanxi FTZ has adopted several new policies to promote efficiency. Applications for industrial and commercial business licenses can be handled online, and the time of registration of enterprises in the trade area has been reduced from 15 days to less than three. By September 8, 5,219 companies had been founded in Shaanxi FTZ with 169.30 billion yuan of investment. Shaanxi FTZ has also streamlined the process of customs clearance which reduces the time required by 70 percent.
Shaanxi’s third advantage is that it has plenty of professional scientific and technological talents, about 1.1 million. It also has 885 scientific research institutions, 33 military engineering research institutes, and 334,400 patents. The index of scientific and technological progress of Shaanxi ranks seventh in China.