Third Batch of Free Trade Zone Likely to Carry out

Update time:2018-01-16  source:

The name plate of the China (Shanghai) Pilot Free Trade Zone on a gate of the Waigaoqiao free trade zone in Shanghai.

The third batch of pilot free trade zones (FTZs), maybe five to eight located in inland and border regions, is expected to be finalized after the "two sessions", the Economic Information Daily reported on Tuesday, citing people familiar with the matter.

The nation has four FTZs, all along the coastal region. Considering regional coordinated development and an open layout, the new batch may be located in inland region, and one possibly in border area, the newspaper said.

The five to eight local FTZs are expected to be finalized in the first half of this year. If everything runs smoothly, they will get the green light from the central government after the "two sessions".

The new batch of FTZs will focus on two missions. The first is to be integrated more closely with the Belt and Road Initiative and the second is to explore new paths to develop inland regions and create a new boom for opening inland regions.

As an important measure to promote regional economic development, applying for FTZs and taking part in the construction of the Belt and Road have been put forward at local governments' two sessions since the beginning of the year.

Except for Qinghai, Jilin, Beijing, Shanxi, Tibet and Hebei, 21 provinces, municipalities and autonomous regions all put forward to establish free trade zones, among which at least 16 regions have included applying for FTZs into their working plans for 2016.

Industry experts predict that the government could put a high priority on Hubei, Shaanxi, Henan, Sichuan provinces and Chongqing municipality.

In August 2013, China established the first pilot FTZ in Shanghai. In April last year, three more FTZs were established in the southern province of Guangdong, the Tianjin municipality in the north and another in the southeastern province of Fujian.

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