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China (Hebei) Pilot Free Trade Zone

The China (Hebei) Pilot Free Trade Zone (HBFTZ) is one of six such pilot zones designated by the State Council in its Circular on Issuing the Overall Plan for the Six New Pilot Free Trade Zones (See Chinese version) in August 2019. The HBFTZ consists of four areas totalling 119.97 sq km: the Xiong’an Area (33.23 sq km), the Zhengding Area (33.29 sq km, including the 2.86-sq km Shijiazhuang comprehensive bonded zone), the Caofeidian Area (33.48 sq km, including the 4.59-sq km Caofeidian comprehensive bonded zone) and the Daxing Airport Area (19.97 sq km).

Development Goals

The HBFTZ is geared towards fostering institutional innovation and the accumulation of replicable and scalable experience. It will fully help to achieve the central government’s goal of expediting co-ordinated development in the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei region and establishing an advanced Xiong’an New Area. Efforts will be made to relocate non-capital functions from Beijing, promote commercialisation of the scientific achievements of Beijing and Tianjin, build a major international trade and logistics hub, and establish the area as a modern industrial base, an international innovation centre and a pilot zone for further opening-up.

Over the next three to five years, the HBFTZ will embark on institutional innovations in line with advanced international standards, in a bid to boost quality, efficiency and competitiveness in its economic development. Resources will be put into creating a world-class free trade zone that facilitates trade and investment, encourages clustering of high-end, high-tech industries, drives opening-up and innovation in the financial services sector, demonstrates inclusive and prudent governance, and promotes synergy in regional development.

Foreign Investment Management

The Special Administrative Measures (Negative List) on Foreign Investment Access (See Chinese version), issued by the National Development and Reform Commission, set out unified special management measures governing issues such as equity ratios and senior management personnel of businesses operating in FTZs in China. For industry sectors falling outside the scope of the negative list, the principle of foreign and domestic investors receiving the same treatment will apply.

Special administrative measures relating to national security, public order, public culture, financial prudence, government procurement, subsidies, special procedures and tax-related matters not on the negative list remain subject to existing provisions. Foreign investment concerning national security is subject to review in accordance with the Tentative Measures for the National Security Review of Foreign Investment in Free Trade Zones (See Chinese version).

Positioning of Sub-zones

Xiong’an Area

With an area of 33.23 sq km, the Xiong’an sub-zone will focus primarily on developing sectors such as new-generation information technology, modern life sciences and biotechnology, and high-end modern services. Plans include constructing a high-end, high-tech industrial centre, a digital commerce development demonstration zone and a financial innovation pilot zone.

Zhengding Area

This site covers an area of 33.29 sq km, and its development priorities include aviation-related industries, biomedicine, international logistics and high-end equipment manufacturing. The area will contain an aviation-related industrial cluster and a biomedicine innovation centre, and will be established as a comprehensive logistics hub.

Caofeidian Area

Covering an area of 33.48 sq km, this site will prioritise developing sectors such as international bulk commodity transactions, port and shipping services, energy storage and distribution, and high-end equipment manufacturing. A centre for pioneering economic co-operation in Northeast Asia and a coastal economic innovation demonstration zone are planned.

Daxing Airport Area

With an area of 19.97 sq km, this site will focus on fostering industries such as aviation logistics, aviation technology, and financing and leasing. Plans include building a key functional area facilitating international exchanges, a national aviation technological innovation centre, and a demonstration zone for the co-ordinated development of the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei region.

 

Latest Policies and Regulations

Please refer to the official websites of:

People’s Government of Hebei Province

Department of Commerce of Hebei Province (Chinese only)

 

Please click here to view more articles on the China Pilot Free Trade Zones.

Content provided by Picture: HKTDC Research
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