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China (Heilongjiang) Pilot Free Trade Zone

The China (Heilongjiang) Pilot Free Trade Zone (HLJFTZ) 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 HLJFTZ consists of three areas totalling 119.85 sq km: the Harbin Area (79.86 sq km), the Heihe Area (20 sq km), and the Suifenhe Area (19.99 sq km, including the 1.8-sq km Suifenhe comprehensive bonded zone).

Development Goals

The HLJFTZ is geared towards fostering institutional innovation and the accumulation of replicable and scalable experience. It will help to achieve  the central government’s goal of promoting the comprehensive development of the northeastern region by creating a major window for opening up to the north. Efforts will be devoted to deepening industrial restructuring and establishing a regional hub for co-operation with Russia and Northeast Asia.

Over the next three to five years, the HLJFTZ 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 is business-friendly, facilitates trade and investment, encourages clustering of high-end industries, maintains a comprehensive services sector and demonstrates safe and efficient oversight.

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

Harbin Area

Covering an area of 79.86 sq km, the Harbin sub-zone will focus on developing new strategic industries including next-generation information technology, new materials, high-end equipment and biomedicine, in addition to modern service sectors encompassing technology, finance, culture, tourism and the so-called ice-and-snow economy. It is intended to provide a new focus for comprehensive co-operation with Russia and Northeast Asia, and to become a national logistics hub linking up various Chinese regions and connecting out to Europe and other parts of Asia. It will be promoted as a growth pole and testing ground for boosting the northeastern region’s economic development on all fronts.

Heihe Area

This site covers an area of 20 sq km on the Russian border, and the focus here is on fostering activities ranging from cross-border, integrated utilisation of energy resources, to ‘green’ food cultivation, trade and logistics, tourism, healthcare and financial services. There are plans to establish Heihe as a cross-border industrial cluster, a border cities co-operation demonstration zone, a logistics hub and a major China-Russia exchange and co-operation base.

Suifenhe Area

With an area of 19.99 sq km, this site will give emphasis to developing import processing for materials such as timber, grains and clean energy, and to service sectors such as financing, as well as modern logistics. Plans include building a processing and distribution centre for import/export/storage of commodities, establishing a national logistics hub around land border ports facing the international land-sea corridor, and creating a major platform for strategic China-Russia collaboration and greater co-operation with Northeast Asia.


Latest Policies and Regulations

Please refer to the official websites of:

People’s Government of Heilongjiang Province (Chinese only)

Department of Commerce of Heilongjiang 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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