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Zhejiang Free Trade Zone: A pioneer in innovative initiatives

Updated: Apr 3, 2024 Print
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A bird's-eye view of the China (Zhejiang) Free Trade Zone in Zhoushan. [Photo/Tide News]

The China (Zhejiang) Free Trade Zone, located in Zhoushan, has been at the forefront of pioneering innovative initiatives since its establishment in 2017, dedicated to propelling the high-quality development of Zhoushan's marine economy.

The free trade zone has actively implemented measures to position itself as a central hub for bulk commodity resource allocation, including building the largest logistics hub for bulk commodities in the country.

In 2023 alone, the city handled 157 million metric tons of oil and gas, 184 million tons of iron ore, and facilitated the transportation of 320 million tons through river-sea intermodal channels.

Authorities have also spearheaded 299 innovative institutional achievements and practical cases, including 137 pioneering initiatives and 32 nationwide replication and promotion programs. Zhoushan has been driving change with over 60 reform measures, such as the trial of bonded ship bunker fuel oil operations, leading to significant milestones such as conducting the country's first marine biofuel refueling at sea and LNG refueling for bulk carriers.

Furthermore, the city has set a national precedent by establishing the first paperless customs clearance port for ships entering and exiting, streamlining the clearance process and reducing times from an average of 16 hours to just 2 hours. This move eliminated the need for all 44 categories and over 70 types of paper-based declaration materials previously required from enterprises.

Supported by the pilot free trade zone, Zhoushan achieved a GDP of 210.8 billion yuan ($29.14 billion) in 2023, marking an 8.2 percent year-on-year increase.

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