February 19, 2019

FTZ bonded area generates 2.19 trillion yuan in revenue

The China (Shanghai) Free Trade Zone comprehensive bonded area generated 2.19 trillion yuan (US$ 323.32 billion) in revenue in 2018, an increase of 10 percent year-on-year.

The zone’s total import and export volume reached 981.66 billion yuan in the same year, up 6.5 percent year-on-year, and the growth rate was higher than that of Shanghai by 1 percentage point, which accounts for 28.9 percent of the city’s total import and export volume.

During the process of transforming the zone’s policy innovations into advantages in the FTZ’s functions, projects, scale, and industries, the zone further enhanced its industrial upgrade last year.

As a Shanghai Customs’ special regulatory area in the FTZ, the bonded area implemented 54 opening-up measures in two batches, further expanded the area’s shipping, trading, cultural, and social services, while attracting more foreign companies to open new offices and boosted the development of the headquarters economy.

Also, the 54 opening-up measures promoted the settling of 248 projects in 2018, and 2,341 projects in total, according to the FTZ administration.

Meanwhile, the measures made the FTZ more attractive to foreign capital and investors. The zone set up a series of regulation frameworks to dock with international trading and investment standards in investment management, trading supervision, and financial innovation.

In terms of optimizing the foreign investment negative list management, the zone introduced reforms such as the “one license, multiple offices” mechanism, which procured US$2.81 billion; the “one window for comprehensive consultancy” mechanism increased the zone’s service efficiency significantly.

New mechanisms in the examination and revision of the construction field were also introduced to further compress the approval time for construction projects in the zone. So far it has been applied to seven pilot projects.

Since the first financial holding company, Sinochem Capital, moved into the bonded area, the zone has been trying to get approval from the Foreign Exchange Administration to carry out trans-border foreign currency settlement pilot program for companies.

In June 2016, the Yangshan Bonded Port Area Clearance Service Center was opened, which introduced the “quick pass” mechanism to integrate declaration and the inspection process into the same administration area to further streamline the clearance process.

Li Zhaojie, deputy director of the FTZ’s management committee, said the center will further increase the clearance process and will help the Yangshan Bonded Area to become more strategically important in the international shipping comprehensive development area.

In cooperation with the city’s ports, the FTZ administration introduced the international trading “single window” 3.0 version to go in tandem with international trade and set up special customs regulatory logistics workflow, the China International Import Expo section and credit insurance last year.

With multiple measures, the zone’s bonded area generated 161.6 billion yuan in shipping logistics, an increase of 11 percent year-on-year.