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Tianjin to play a key regional role

By ZHU WENQIAN | China Daily | Updated: 2015-04-21 10:55

The China (Tianjin) Pilot Free Trade Zone will play a major role in the "Belt and Road Initiative" when it is unveiled on Tuesday, boosting economic growth in the region.

Areas such as high-end manufacturing and port development will help turn Tianjin municipality into a pioneering FTZ, the State Council Information Office said on Monday.

As part of China's second batch of free trade zones, the city will lead the joint development of Beijing, Tianjin and Hebei province, and improve the region's overall competitiveness.

The central government hopes to make Tianjin FTZ a pilot zone for institutional innovation. "In three to five years ... the Tianjin FTZ will be built into a national free trade zone that enjoys investment liberalization, clusters of high-end industries, financial services," said Yan Qingmin, vice-mayor of Tianjin.

"Tianjin will play a lead role in the coordinated development of Beijing, Tianjin and Hebei, and the country's economic transformation and development. It will become a new hub for 'the Belt and Road Initiative'."

The Tianjin FTZ will cover 119.9 sq km and consist of three parts: the North Port Area of Tianjin Port (30 sq km), the Tianjin Airport Area (43.1 sq km) and the central business district in the Binhai New Area (46.8 sq km), according to the State Council Information Office.

The North Port Area will focus on modern services sectors, such as air logistics, international trade, financing and leasing. The Tianjin Airport Area will be involved in high-end manufacturing such as aerospace, equipment making, new-generation information technology, and research, development and design. The Binhai New Area will focus on financial innovation.

Tianjin FTZ will also take a major role in shipping services, maritime finance and law by working closely with the Shanghai Shipping Center. In October 2014, the State Council approved a new round of expansion to open up the waters and shorelines around Tianjin to the outside world.

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