Centers for trade and service opened at FTZ

By YUAN SHENGGAO| (China Daily )| Updated : 2020-07-01

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The China (Shandong) Pilot Free Trade Zone Yantai Area opened international trade and service centers last week.

The international trade center is expecting some 36 foreign trade companies to set up their operations there including JD Cloud, Hengbang Supply Chain Company, and Shandong Longtai Petroleum Equipment.

To date, the trade center has attracted 42 enterprises, generating 9.79 billion yuan ($1.38 billion) in imports and exports from January to May.

The two centers are part of the area's effort to attract investment and promote international exchange, local officials said.

As part of the China (Shandong) Pilot Free Trade Zone, the Yantai area is designed to be a pilot zone for trade and investment cooperation between China and South Korea, a base for intelligent marine manufacturing and a demonstration pilot area for the industrialization of national scientific and technological achievements and international technologies.

The area said it has planned 170 innovative items revolving around the province's 100 innovation pilot tasks, as part of the effort to promote its development.

Approved by the State Council in 2019, the Shandong FTZ covers the areas of Jinan, Qingdao and Yantai, spanning 119.98 square kilometers. It is developed under the focus of institutional innovation and the requirement of accumulating practices that may be replicated and applied elsewhere, local officials said.

The Shandong FTZ consists of three areas with different targets, aiming to improve the local business environment and enhance the FTZ's influence in attracting investment and high-level professionals.

Focusing on becoming a key national economic center and a hub for logistics and technology innovation, the Jinan area has developed a system for assessing human capital in a bid to empower its industrial development.

It has also provided catering businesses with convenient services for their registration and operation.

To facilitate the construction of industries such as modern marine and the shipping logistics, the Qingdao area has carried out plans on supporting its marine industry via targeted policies and capital management.

In the first quarter of this year, the cargo and container throughput of Shandong Port in the area maintained growth, local officials said.

The Shandong FTZ said it has explored 60 innovative measures, with 24 relating to the business environment, 13 involving trade transformation and upgrading, eight concerning the ocean economy, seven covering innovation-driven development and the financial sector and one referring to regional economic development between China, Japan and South Korea.

As of April, the FTZ had welcomed 17,155 registered companies, with 207 foreign-invested ones. From January to April, the amount of paid-in foreign investment in the province's FTZ reached $370 million, and the value of its imports and exports was 77.14 billion yuan.

During the period, the Shandong FTZ has helped attract 9.8 percent of foreign investment and contributed 12.5 percent of the value of imports and exports in the province, local officials said.