Pilot free trade zone boosts trade for Xiamen
By Song Mengxing| China Daily| Updated: Oct 25, 2019
Dynamic commercial hub welcomed more than 40,000 companies within four and a half year
The Xiamen Area of China (Fujian) Pilot Free Trade Zone has built an excellent business environment with world-class standards and is welcoming companies to share in development opportunities, local authorities said.
The area is important for the coastal city in East China's Fujian province to achieve high-quality development, they said.
Xiamen has established a service system that fits within international investment and trade rules, they added.
From left: Attendees try wine at the China International Fair for Investment and Trade in Xiamen, Fujian province in September. Hu Meidong/China Daily; A technician dismantles an aircraft engine inside a company workshop in the Xiamen Area of China (Fujian) Pilot Free Trade Zone. Jiang Kehong/Xinhua; A crane driver operates machinery by remote control in Xiamen. Jiang Kehong/Xinhua
From left: The Xiamen Area of China (Fujian) Pilot Free Trade Zone creates 13.6 percent of Xiamen's total GDP. Residents are served in the area's service hall. Provided to China Daily
Since its establishment four and a half years ago, the area has launched 391 innovative measures.
At a promotional event for the area held on Sept 9, more than 300 business people from countries and regions such as the United States, Italy and the Netherlands discussed cooperation opportunities.
It resulted in the signing of more than 50 projects focused on major industries and investment fields in the area. They involve air service, logistics, cross-border e-commerce, films and television and financial services.
Dai Bin, an official from the area's administration, said 16 sectors, including imported alcohol, integrated circuit and the import of automobiles, are gradually playing a more important role. They allow the area to boast seven pillar industries, including international trade, aeronautical maintenance, financing and leasing, advanced manufacturing and cultural tourism.
Local media reported that the area had become a pilot of national reform, innovation and open and transparent investment.
In the past four and a half years, 43,000 companies settled in the area with a registered capital of 620 billion yuan ($87.59 billion). Its land area accounts for 2.5 percent of the city's total. Meanwhile, its GDP accounted for 13.6 percent of the city and its imports and exports accounted for about 30 percent.
This year's China International Fair for Investment and Trade, held from Sept 8 to 11, saw the area sign nearly 60 projects worth almost 20 billion yuan. Among them was an e-commerce import and export operation center of Chinese e-commerce giant JD.
Staff member of the center said it will expand cross-border bonded business, advanced logistics, supply chain finance and service trade cooperation.
The JD project will benefit from preferential policies related to the Belt and Road Initiative and the Xiamen area of the Fujian free trade zone.
Hong Kong-listed E-Commodities Holdings and Xiamen-headquartered XMXYG Corp signed to invest 2 billion yuan to found a joint venture and cooperate on the trade of coking and coal used to generate electricity.
Attracting professionals is a priority of the area's administration. It released several measures to stimulate innovation and entrepreneurship, encouraging companies to recruit professionals in 12 key industries in 2018.
The city also welcomes people from nearby Taiwan to work, start up companies and seek internships in the area.
The Xiamen Area of China (Fujian) Pilot Free Trade Zone welcomed its first representative office of a law firm from Taiwan recently. Authorities from the area's administration said boosting cross-Straits communication and cooperation is the area's biggest feature and currently the most important mission.
The law firm is optimistic about the area's judicial service prospects and business environment. They added that the new representative office will help companies from Xiamen and Taiwan have more convenient and diverse legal services.
To better serve companies, the Haicang port area of the Xiamen free-trade area started a pilot reform on declaration. On Oct 9, a customs worker finished an "essentials declaration" of 14,112 bottles of wine imported from Chile online. Data including the ship's name, voyage number and inspection and quarantine was immediately sent to Haicang Customs. The process from online declaration to clearance lasted 72 seconds.
Related authorities said previous clearance procedures required companies to declare 105 items at a time. After the reform - which was proposed at an executive meeting of the State Council in June - goods can be taken away after the customs permits "essentials declaration" that needs a minimum of nine items. "Complete declaration" should be done within 14 days.