Fujian FTZ a leader in reform and opening-up

Updated: Jul 22, 2021 By YUAN SHENGGAO China Daily Print
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In just six years, area has significantly boosted trade and business with outside world

The Fujian Pilot Free Trade Zone has strived to be an area with international influence and continued to play a leading role in reform and opening-up during the new era, local officials said.

"Since its establishment in 2015, the zone has made significant progress in various tasks, demonstrating the role of a test field for comprehensively deepening reforms and expanding opening-up," said Wu Nanxiang, head of the Fujian Provincial Department of Commerce.

"The FTZ has built a sound, orderly and efficient management and operation system, and a governance system that is compatible with the deepening of reforms."

The Fujian Provincial Department of Commerce has worked with the FTZ's three areas of Fuzhou, Xiamen and Pingtan to carry out the implementation. It has established a corporate credit information publicity system, implemented corporate credit risk classification supervision and established a business center with credit constraints.

It also improves legal protection and both promulgates and implements local regulations such as the Fujian Pilot Free Trade Zone Regulations and more than 150 normative documents.

It does so by implementing the three systems of administrative law enforcement publicity, the whole process of law enforcement, and the legal review of major law enforcement decisions.

The department has promulgated 14 measures for talent work and an action plan for introducing high-level talents to support innovation and entrepreneurship.

It has hired 71 construction consultants, established a talent pool of 100 experts, and established a talent evaluation mechanism based on peer evaluation and salary.

"We have cooperated with Xiamen University to establish the country's first China (Fujian) Pilot Free Trade Zone College to carry out special lectures, theoretical research and talent training," Wu said.

The FTZ has also taken the initiative to benchmark international high-standard economic and trade rules, and has built an institutional innovation highland with a national influence.

It has learned from the experience and practices of advanced regions in China and abroad and created a business-friendly environment for innovation and entrepreneurship.

Over the past few years, the zone has been approved for nearly 100 policy support measures, including as a comprehensive cross-border e-commerce pilot zone, a national cultural export base, a BRICS innovation base, and the development of new offshore international trade. It also promotes four special customs supervision areas.

Of the 322 key test tasks in the overall and deepening plans of the zone, most of them have been implemented and achieved significant results.

"We have implemented a total of 480 innovative measures, including 196 national initiatives and 102 Taiwan-based initiatives. We will create clusters of innovative experiences and expand the comprehensive effects of the reforms.

"A total of 34 innovations have been promoted nationwide, and seven pilot experiences have been included in the 'best practice cases' of the national free trade pilot zones," Wu said.

As of June this year, a total of 111,100 new enterprises had been added in the zone, with registered capital of 2.4 trillion yuan ($369.94 billion).

The FTZ also explores new paths for cross-Straits integration and development, and builds a pioneer zone for all-around exchanges and cooperation with Taiwan.

"We will deepen cooperation in advantageous industries, promoting the opening-up of more than 50 fields such as finance, medical care and tourism to Taiwan, and have introduced nearly 30 pioneering Taiwan-funded projects to promote the integrated development of cross-Straits electronic information, optical instruments, compact machinery and other industries," Wu said.

For example, Zongren Science and Technology (Pingtan) is a Taiwan-funded enterprise that provides integrated circuit manufacturing services.

Chen Mengbang, chairman of the company, said: "It is not easy for a technology company to retain talents, but the Fujian FTZ's Pingtan area provides a lot of inclusive policies. Our company has grown up very quickly."

The zone has improved the smooth flow of economic and trade cooperation, promoted the reform and innovation of the whole process of Taiwan's commodity clearance, covering industrial products, food, agricultural products, fruits and other major commodities.

Fujian has become a distribution center for Taiwan's commodities exported to the Chinese mainland.

It has attracted the first Taiwan-funded financial institutions such as Jinyuan President Securities and Jinmeixin Consumer Finance.

Huang Weilun, head of the Xiamen Cross-Straits Youth Entrepreneurship Park, said: "There are many policies in the pilot free trade zone that bring many practical benefits and conveniences to Taiwan entrepreneurs."

Dadeng Market is very suitable for commodity trade in terms of convenient customs clearance, preferential logistics and subsidies.

At present, the 13 cross-Straits youth "three innovation" bases in the Fujian Pilot Free Trade Zone have accumulatively settled or served more than 1,000 Taiwan-based enterprises and teams. Some 44,000 young people from Taiwan have also participated in internships, employment and entrepreneurship.

The zone continues to expand opening-up to the outside world, and build a new and open economic system at a higher level.

It has accelerated the pace of "introducing in" and "going out", and explored wider, broader, and deeper opening-up to form a relationship with countries and regions along the Maritime Silk Road.

A total of 4,630 new foreign-funded enterprises have been added, and nearly 40 percent of the province's new foreign capital has been introduced.

A group of Fortune 500 companies such as Shell, Amazon and ABB have settled in the zone.

As of the end of June, a total of 251 foreign investment companies have been filed in the zone, with an agreed investment of $5.24 billion.

To improve interconnection, the Fuzhou area opened a cross-border e-commerce cargo charter flight route to the United States, and the Pingtan area created a new sea-air combined transport channel "Pingtan-Taiwan-Global".

Central Europe and Central Asia international freight trains have formed two departure points in Fujian, Xiamen and Wuyi Mountain, reaching more than 10 countries in Europe, Central Asia and Russia.

Among them, the China-Europe (Xiamen) route became the first railway to join the China-EU safe and intelligent trade route pilot program.

Chen Luchao, business manager of Xiamen International Express, said: "In the context of the global fight against the epidemic, the China-Europe Express has become a safeguard for Sino-European trade and smooth international cooperation in the transportation of anti-epidemic materials. It guarantees a smooth flow of international supply chains and industrial chains."

To promote the expansion and strengthening of key platforms, the Fuzhou Internet of Things Industrial Base has formed IoT applications and supported industrial clusters such as smart home, smart transportation, smart pipe network, and internet-connected vehicles. It has gathered more than 200 core companies in the IoT sector.

In 2020, the output value of the IoT industry reached some 65 billion yuan in Fujian, an increase of 85.7 percent year-on-year.

The Xiamen Airlines Maintenance Base has attracted 16 professional aviation service companies, including Taikoo Aircraft and Honeywell, forming an aviation maintenance industry cluster with complete categories, advanced technologies and high added values.

In 2020, the base's output value exceeded 8.99 billion yuan, and revenue was 6.3 billion yuan.

With the support of the Zhuyu Bay Film and Television Base, the Taiwan Film and Television Base, and Movie World, Pingtan has built a cluster of studios to further boost the film and television industry.

A total of over 240 film and television companies have landed in Pingtan, and more than 20 films have been filmed in Pingtan.

Offshore trade is an important manifestation of economic liberalization and is of great significance to the country's integration into global and regional supply chain construction and enhancement of international competitiveness.

Xiamen's offshore trade has handled a total of $18.08 billion in foreign exchange settlements. Fuzhou (including Pingtan) and Xiamen offer the policy advantages of the national cross-border e-commerce comprehensive pilot zone.

They also build multiple cross-border e-commerce comprehensive service platforms, industrial parks and exhibition and trading centers, and steadily promote cross-border e-commerce business-to-business export supervision pilot areas.

Commercial enterprises provide integrated full-chain services covering warehousing and logistics, international freight, international procurement, international transit, cross-border e-commerce, transportation and distribution.

The Xiamen area took the lead in issuing a three-year action plan for creating a digital free trade zone, establishing the Xiamen Free Trade Digitalization Promotion Center, and accelerating the development of digital infrastructure, industry, supervision and services.

The application scenarios of the global quality traceability system have been continuously enriched.

More than 6.2 million traceable source codes have been issued, and nearly 22 million products have been traced to create "visible trust".

In 2020, Xiamen Port completed a container throughput of some 11.40 million twenty-foot equivalent units, a year-on-year increase of 2.54 percent. The project team led by Shen Kaiyan, director of the Institute of Economics of the Shanghai Academy of Social Sciences, through on-site inspection and evaluation, believes that the zone has built itself as a demonstration area for China's pilot free trade zones through key system blocking points, comprehensive system integration and in-depth service.

View of the Jiangyin auto import port in the Fujian Pilot Free Trade Zone. CHINA DAILY
Clockwise from top left: Xiamen Port is a vital hub along the Maritime Silk Road. Staff members sort out goods at the Pingtan Bonded Zone in Fujian. A China-Europe freight train departs from Xiamen. CHINA DAILY

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