Business / Policy Watch

New policies for Pingtan FTZ to spur business

(Xinhua) Updated: 2015-07-16 10:04

PINGTAN - Pingtan in East China's Fujian province, one of China's free trade zones (FTZs), is well set to attract more business, with new preferential policies announced Wednesday.

The local customs office has put forward 22 new measures, including fast clearance for Taiwan merchants doing businesses in Pingtan, preferential clearance for perishable goods and online cargo registration.

The General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine also introduced 20 new measures, delegating more power over agricultural imports to its local branch.

Pingtan became a special customs zone of the Chinese mainland a year ago, featuring tax-free Taiwan products and special rules on importation of vehicles from the other side of Taiwan Strait.

"During the past year, 414 companies were registered in the Pingtan FTZ thanks to tax breaks, nearly quintupling the previous number of registered companies," Zhou Yunguang, head of Pingtan customs, told Xinhua.

The preferential policies in the FTZ have helped companies save up to 510 million yuan (about $83 million) in total taxes last year, said Zhou.

Pingtan is an island 126 kilometers from Taiwan, a bridgehead in cross-Strait cooperation and crucial to the Belt and Road Initiative.

The Belt and Road Initiative refers to the Silk Road Economic Belt and the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road and was proposed in 2013 with the goal of reviving ancient trade routes between Asia and Europe. The network passes through more than 60 countries and regions, with a total population of 4.4 billion. Those areas accounted for more than a quarter of China's total exports and about a fifth of its outbound direct investment in the first five months of 2015, according to the Ministry of Commerce.

During the January-May period, Chinese companies signed contracts worth $25.1 billion for more than 1,000 projects in the Belt and Road region, a rise of 19.1 percent year on year.

Pingtan is part of the FTZ in Fujian -- with two others in Tianjin and Guangdong, respectively -- unveiled in April this year, 18 months after the first FTZ was launched in Shanghai.

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