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Big money rolls into free trade zone from across the world

Updated: Apr 2, 2019 By Pamela Lin China Daily Print
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Since the establishment of the China (Zhejiang) Pilot Free Trade Zone in April 2017, remarkable progress has been made in the development of its oil and gas industrial chain.

The FTZ handled 3.59 million metric tons of bonded bunker fuel oil supply in 2018, accounting for more than 30 percent of the national total. It made the FTZ one of the world's top 10 oil supply ports, according to statistics from the Zhejiang FTZ.

In 2018, the trade volume of petroleum products in the FTZ reached 221.39 billion yuan ($33 billion).

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From left: The container terminal in Ningbo-Zhoushan Port is among the largest in the world. The second International Petroleum and Natural Gas Enterprises Conference is held in Zhoushan in October 2018. Zhoushan, which boasts the largest port in the world, is a new growth engine in Zhejiang province. Photos Provided to China Daily

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The island port city of Zhoushan is connected to the mainland by one of the world's longest cross-sea bridges. Provided To China Daily

As of February 2019, the Zhejiang FTZ has 12,501 registered companies. It includes 3,198 oil companies, making the region one of China's largest oil company clusters.

Alex Beard is head of oil and gas at Glencore, the world's biggest publicly traded commodity trader. He thinks that Zhejiang FTZ will become the next world petroleum refining center. He sees the advantages of Zhejiang's geographic location and constantly improved oil-refining capacity.

Located in Zhoushan city in Zhejiang province, the Zhejiang FTZ is the only pilot free trade zone consisting of land and anchorages at sea, covering an area of 119.96 square kilometers. It is complemented by the Zhoushan Archipelago, which is the door to the Pacific Ocean and the only corridor connecting it to the Yangtze River.

The Zhejiang FTZ has set a goal to promote the investment in and free trade of the whole oil industry chain and to improve the global allocation of bulk commodities under a well-regulated and legally compliant environment.

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