The launch of the Shanghai Pilot Free Trade Zone (PFTZ) in 2012 and the Guangdong, Tianjin, Fujian PFTZs in 2015 (hereinafter referred to as the “Four PFTZs”) to explore in areas, such as opening up of investment, trade and finance, encouraging entrepreneurship and innovations, as well as interim and post establishment administration, etc. have accomplished prominent achievements. Building on the successful experience of the first two batches of PFTZs, on 31 March 2017, the State Council officially released the development plan for the 3rd batch of 7 new PFTZs1. The 3rd batch of PFTZs will be located within the designated area of 6 provinces and 1 municipality, i.e., the province of Liaoning, Zhejiang, Henan, Hubei, Shaanxi and Sichuan and the Chongqing municipality.
The 3rd batch of PFTZs covers 5 inland provinces and 2 coastal provinces. After the official launch, a new geographic pattern of PFTZs encompassing 6 coastal provinces, 2 central provinces and 3 western provinces will be formed. China will embrace a new round of reform under the national 13th Five-Year Plan. The expansion of PFTZs will re-cluster industries and complement national strategies such as the “One Belt One Road” initiative, “rise of central China”, “the development of western China”, “rejuvenation of the old northeast industrial bases” and “Yangtze River Economic Belt”, etc.
The 7 new PFTZs have respectively set their functions and development objectives based on their geographical characteristics. In this News Flash, we will provide a general introduction of these PFTZs and highlight their respective key areas. We will release a series of publications to analyse in detail the policy highlights in the implementation measures of each PFTZ, and to share our observations on the potential investment opportunities.