Three Years On, Shenzhen's Qianhai & Shekou FTZ Becomes the "New Engine" for the Open Development of China
On April 27th, the Qianhai & Shekou Area of Shenzhen, China (Guangdong) Pilot Free Trade Zone (FTZ) held a series of forward-looking events in the new round of opening-up and reform to celebrate the third anniversary of its official inauguration, which included, among others, an achievement report on reform and innovation for the past three years and the launch of major projects like the technology alliance on reform and innovation.
The past three years have witnessed internationally recognized institutional opening-up and innovation in the Qianhai & Shekou Area in investment, financial and legal facilitation, creating a multi-faceted appeal of Qianhai.
"Last year, the added value by firms registered within the Area exceeded 10 billion yuan per square kilometer, completing the planned goal three years in advance and making it China's fastest-growing area," said Wang Jinxia, vice director of the Administration Committee of the Area.
Institutional innovation has promoted development dividends. Statistics show that the added value by firms registered here reached 203 billion yuan in 2017, with a year-on-year increase of over 40%. As of the end of this March, the Area has a total of 168,600 registered companies, or an average of 88 new entrants per day.
A synergistic mechanism for innovation, which involves the participation by the government, society and market and the interaction of a variety of innovation-facilitating entities, makes the Area better able to cater to the market. The dual business model by CTFHOKO, combining both cross-border e-commerce and a bricks-and-mortar shopping center, is a good example.
Legal innovation and financial reform have become the key to the Area's international recognition and to attracting companies at home and abroad. "Seven of the eleven law firms concurrently operating in Guangdong, Hong Kong and Macao have their presence in Qianhai, and application of Hong Kong laws to settle economic disputes by Qianhai Court is highly appreciated by Hong Kong enterprises," said Lin Xinqiang, chairman of the Hong Kong Chamber of Commerce in Qianhai.
Coinciding with the 40th anniversary of its national reform and opening-up drive this year, China has just rolled out some major measures for further opening-up such as greatly relaxed market access and creation of a more attractive investment environment. At the third anniversary celebration of the Area, a second batch of bases, centers, and laboratories dedicated to institutional innovation were also officially inaugurated to further support and promote the development of the Area in this endeavor.
According to a third-party assessment by PwC, a consultancy, the Qianhai & Shekou Area is approaching the level of international free trade in reforming its financial system and improving its legal environment. By dint of its internationally friendly business environment, the Area will become a new engine of China's further opening-up and participation in globalization.