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China-South Korea Trade Cooperation Zone launched in Qingdao

( chinadaily.com.cn )

Updated: 2014-08-21

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A China-South Korea Trade Cooperation Zone has been officially launched in the Qingdao West Coast New Area of Huangdao district, according to a press conference held by the Qingdao municipal government on August 15.

The trade cooperation zone has a planned area of 20 square kilometers. The first phase, the geographic core of the zone, will occupy 3.76 sq km and mainly facilitate industries centering on services. Planning of the first phase has been made and construction will be completed in three to five years.

Another 16 sq km has been allocated for developing industrial and logistics sectors.

The New Area in the Huangdao district has recently been approved as China’s ninth national new area and it will serve as the central area for Qingdao-South Korea cooperation.

According to the New Area’s blueprint released by the National Development and Reform Commission, a Qingdao-South Korea innovation industrial park will be built in the New Area and pilot programs will be carried out to facilitate cooperation in marine industries, investment and trade and cross-border transportation and logistics. The New Area will enhance exchange and cooperation with South Korea in management, technology and skills and build a national demonstrative platform for China to participate in global cooperation in marine development.

Innovative cooperation experiments centering on trade facilitation will be carried out in the China-South Korea Trade Cooperation Zone in the fields of AEO accreditation, financial cooperation, services trade and protection of intellectual property rights.

The two sides will also join hands in developing health industries and boosting the development of the ocean economy while also forging a new China-South Korea industrial area.

Moreover, they will carry out experiments to facilitate personnel exchange, conferences, exhibitions, business and travel needs and currency swaps, among others.

Qingdao will also explore ways to cooperate with South Korea in the culture field, including film and television, comics and animation, innovative design and exhibitions.

The two sides will jointly build a U-city, an ecological demonstrative city characteristic of green, smart life, according to the plans.

The trade cooperation zone has already had contacts with a few South Korean universities, organizations and enterprises and reached preliminary agreements on cooperation.

At the press conference on August 15, the Qingdao International Economic Cooperation Zone signed memorandums of understanding with representatives from South Korea’s government and business, trade and financial circles on backing the development of the China-South Korea Trade Cooperation Zone.

Qingdao is close to South Korea and the two sides have unique advantages in carrying out economic, trade and industrial cooperation.

So far, South Korea has become Qingdao’s second largest source of foreign investments as well as the city’s second largest trading partner.

By the end of June, South Korea had invested in a total of 11,513 projects in Qingdao. The country’s planned investments in Qingdao signed into contracts amounted to $24.34 billion and actual investments totaled $14.9 billion, accounting for nearly a third of all foreign investments in the city over the years since its opening up.

The total value of Qingdao’s imports from and exports to South Korea had topped $8.5 billion yuan by the end of June.