Business / Economy

Xi'an seeking to join trade club

By ZHAO LEI (China Daily) Updated: 2015-04-24 11:25

China already has four FTZs, in Shanghai, Tianjin, Guangdong and Fujian. More local authorities, including Liaoning province and the city of Xi'an, hope to establish their own FTZs.

Xi'an, capital of Shaanxi province, will lobby the central government to approve the establishment of a free trade zone, Mayor Dong Jun said.

"We have asked for the central government's support and approval for the free trade zone, which we plan to build into an important base for the 'One Belt, One Road' initiatives," Dong told China Daily.

The "Belt and Road Initiative" was proposed by President Xi Jinping with the aim of connecting China with Europe via a host of Asian economies.

It has been deemed as one of China's major strategies in the 21st century to boost its foreign trade and interconnectivity. Many local governments along the Silk Road Economic Belt are eager to take advantage of the initiative to promote their economies.

"The establishment of an FTZ will help us deepen the opening-up and improve our governance capability. In addition, it will foster entrepreneurship and innovation in the city," Dong said.

The provincial authorities have submitted the zone's overall plan to related central departments, and the city government has listed the zone's approval as one of its top priorities this year, he said.

The zone will be based on the current Xi'an International Trade and Logistics Park, covering three bonded areas that have a total area of 10.3 square kilometers, Dong said.

China already has four FTZs in Shanghai, Tianjin, Guangdong and Fujian. At least nine cities including Wuhan in Hubei province and Qingdao in Shandong province are seeking the central government's approval to set up such zones.

Talking about Xi'an's advantages, Dong said the city is the geographic center of China and has a well-developed transport network, many research institutes and an industrial base.

The General Administration of Customs has designated Xi'an Customs as one of three customs divisions to promote trade-facilitating measures created by the China (Shanghai) Free Trade Zone Customs, a move that would pave the way for a similar zone in Xi'an, according to the mayor.

"We hope the central government can also invest more funds in western regions to build high-speed railways, highways and pipelines," he said.

Hot Topics

Editor's Picks