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Market Opportunities in the Tianjin Free Trade Zone

The Tianjin Pilot Free Trade Zone (TJFTZ) was officially launched in April 2015 as part of China’s second batch of free trade zones following the establishment of the Shanghai FTZ. Its strategic positioning is intended to make it an open platform for the collaborative development of the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei region. TJFTZ will fully leverage Tianjin Port’s advantages in being able to serve overseas markets, including Northeast Asia, in order to promote economic growth in Beijing, Hebei and other inland regions. It is also an important pivot on the China-Mongolia-Russia Economic Corridor.

The liberalization measures involved in the TJFTZ helped Hong Kong companies to attain footholds in this region. Besides benefitting from policies such as lower entry thresholds for foreign investment and simpler procedures for foreign investors, Hong Kong companies – across sectors including internet value-added services, accounting and cultural industries – are able to make use of the preferential treatment offered by the Mainland-Hong Kong Closer Economic Partnership Arrangement (CEPA). The TJFTZ promotes cross-border e-commerce, facilitate parallel car imports, improve international shipping and logistics services, and beef up financial leasing. It is an ideal platform for Hong Kong companies intending to penetrate mainland markets, especially in North China.

The “TJFTZ Master Plan” (the Master Plan) stresses the need to steadily expand the scope of economic opening up by lowering the entry threshold for foreign investment, with particular focus on modern service industries such as shipping services, trade services, professional services, cultural services and social services, as well as advanced manufacturing industries such as equipment manufacturing and new-generation information technology. Foreign investment procedures and restrictions will be simplified on the principle of “relaxed entry requirements and strict supervision”. The channels and scale of offshore financing will be widened to help enterprises lower their financing costs.

Promotion of Trade Transformation and Innovation

In order to improve the quality of trade and more effectively stimulate the development of trade in the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei region, TJFTZ will actively cultivate new forms of trade and improve its functions in serving international trade, including:

• Developing cross-border e-commerce

• Developing service outsourcing

• Exploring the launching of fiscal funds to support the establishment of a North China intellectual property rights operations centre and unfold cross-border IPR transaction

• Supporting the import of advanced technologies and key equipment and parts

• Implementing pilots for parallel car import

• Encouraging domestic futures exchanges to conduct business within special customs supervision areas

• Facilitating commodity spot trading and exploring the establishment of foreign exchange administration and customs supervision systems for international commodity exchange

• Establishing an international online checking mechanism for inspection and quarantine certificates, promoting mutual recognition of testing standards and results, and encouraging the establishment of third-party inspection, testing and accreditation bodies

For investment enquiries and related services, contact Corporation China headquarters in Shanghai.

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