China’s free trade zones set pace for reform

An aerial view of the Lin-gang Special Area of China (Shanghai) Pilot Free Trade Zone on Oct 22, 2022. [Photo/China Daily]

SHANGHAI – Free Trade Zones (FTZs) have become pacesetters for China’s reform and opening up, an official with the Ministry of Commerce said at a forum Wednesday.

Since establishing the first pilot FTZ in Shanghai in 2013, China has boasted 21 FTZs nationwide. Up to 302 institutional innovations have been nurtured in these areas and promoted nationwide, said Guo Tingting, vice-commerce minister.

“In the past decade, these areas have contributed 18 percent of the country’s foreign investment and foreign trade volume with less than four-thousandths of the country’s land area,” Guo added.

In the future, the pilot FTZs will further align their policies with high-standard international economic and trade rules, promote institutional opening up, and improve market access, according to Guo.

Also, in pilot FTZs, efforts will be made to strengthen the integration of reforms in different areas and explore ways to build modern industrial clusters with their own characteristics, Guo said.

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