Fu­jian’s pi­lot FTZ seeks trade ties with Tai­wan

China Daily European Weekly - - China News - By REN XIAOJIN renx­i­ao­[email protected]­nadaily.com.cn

The Fu­jian Pi­lot Free Trade Zone looks for­ward to build­ing stronger busi­ness ties with its neigh­bor Tai­wan and other in­vestors by fur­ther fa­cil­i­tat­ing trade, us­ing the neg­a­tive list and en­hanc­ing co­op­er­a­tion in the ser­vice in­dus­try.

Ac­cord­ing to the re­cent an­nounce­ment by the State Coun­cil, China’s Cab­i­net, on deep­en­ing FTZ re­form, Fu­jian will fur­ther en­hance fi­nan­cial co­op­er­a­tion with Tai­wan, in­clud­ing in cur­rency clear­ing and set­tle­ment and al­low­ing qual­i­fied Tai­wan in­sur­ance in­sti­tu­tions to set up branches in the FTZ.

Since its be­gin­ning in 2014, the Fu­jian FTZ has fo­cused on build­ing strong trade ties with Tai­wan.

“Af­ter three years of hard work, the Ping­tan district has gen­er­ally im­ple­mented the neg­a­tive list sys­tem,” says Lin Li, as­sis­tant di­rec­tor of the FTZ of­fice in the Ping­tan district of the pro­vin­cial FTZ. A neg­a­tive list names in­dus­tries in which in­vest­ment is lim­ited or re­stricted.

“The trade su­per­vi­sion sys­tem is made to serve trade fa­cil­i­ta­tion and the fi­nan­cial sys­tem is made to serve the real econ­omy,” Lin says.

Chen Xiangquan, gen­eral man­ager of the Ping­tan branch of Tai­wan lo­gis­tics com­pany Wagon, says the fa­cil­i­ta­tion mea­sures have ben­e­fited the com­pany.

“Only Ping­tan can is­sue a spe­cial busi­ness li­cense. What you need to do is to reg­is­ter on­line, and the reg­is­tra­tion can be done in a few hours,” he says.

Shi Ming­hao, for­mer chair­man of Trade­van, which pro­vides clear­ance and cross-bor­der elec­tronic trans­ac­tion ser­vices, told lo­cal TV news sta­tion Xi­a­men Star: “The cap­i­tal mar­ket in Tai­wan started ear­lier and is ma­ture. If the two sides can work to­gether, there will be po­ten­tial for a win-win sit­u­a­tion. I think that in the ser­vices in­dus­try, more Tai­wan com­pa­nies will show up in Xi­a­men.”

As of the end of Septem­ber, the num­ber of com­pa­nies from Tai­wan that had reg­is­tered in the Fu­jian FTZ stood at 2,185, bring­ing a to­tal in­vest­ment of $6 bil­lion (5.3 bil­lion eu­ros; £4.7 bil­lion).

A cross-bor­der e-com­merce in­dus­trial park is also a high­light of the Fu­jian FTZ. Ac­cord­ing to the Fuzhou Bonded Area, the park is home to a num­ber of es­tab­lished e-com­merce com­pa­nies such as eBay, Alibaba and Cainiao.

In 2017, the area im­ported 640,700 or­ders of bonded goods through cross­bor­der e-com­merce mer­chants, up by 136.7 per­cent year-on-year. The sale of the goods net­ted 210 mil­lion yuan ($30 mil­lion; 26 mil­lion eu­ros; £23 mil­lion), up by 124 per­cent year-on-year.

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