Business / Economy

Pingtan 'key component' of Fujian FTZ

By HU MEIDONG (China Daily) Updated: 2015-01-17 11:05

A newly approved free trade zone in Fujian province will be established in March, with the Pingtan Comprehensive Pilot Zone-which will be part of the FTZ-expected to focus on cross-Straits cooperation, local authorities in Pingtan said on Friday.

In early December, an executive meeting of the State Council, China's cabinet, decided that three new pilot free trade zones would be set up in Guangdong and Fujian provinces and the municipality of Tianjin.

The Fujian FTZ, covering 118 square kilometers, is scheduled to open in March, said Zhou Qingsong, deputy director of the administrative committee of the Pingtan zone. The FTZ will include a Pingtan section covering 43 square km, making the zone a prominent section of the project, Zhou said.

Conceived in 2009 as the only experimental zone on the Chinese mainland open to Taiwan, the Pingtan Comprehensive Pilot Zone has been playing a pioneering role in cross-Straits business and the Pingtan section of the Fujian FTZ will highlight cross-Straits exchanges, Zhou said.

Pingtan has already released a negative list, which specifies bans or restrictions on foreign investments.

The list specifically loosens restrictions on Taiwan investors. Foreign investment in banking, insurance and securities in the zone remains subject to limitations, but those do not apply to Taiwan.

Beyond building on the experience of the China (Shanghai) Pilot Free Trade Zone, which was established in September 2013, Pingtan will offer some innovative incentives for investments from Taiwan, Zhou said.

For example, Pingtan may permit use of Taiwan-registered vehicles in Pingtan and push for similar arrangements for vehicles from Pingtan in Taiwan, Zhou said.

Ma Donggen, director of the investment promotion bureau of the Pingtan zone, said Pingtan will put cooperating with Taiwan's free trade zone high on the agenda.

Pingtan will also foster some industries that will be new sectors in the zone, including cross-border e-commerce and financial leasing, Ma said.

The Tianjin FTZ is also scheduled to open in March, and it will specifically boost the Tianjin Binhai New Area, which is an important section of the planned Silk Road Economic Belt linking Asia and Europe, according to a recent local government meeting in Tianjin.

Sun Li in Beijing and Peng Juan in Pingtan contributed to this story.

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