TIANJIN — A pilot economic zone in the northern coastal city of Tianjin could expand to include another industrial zone in neighboring Hebei province, part of a wider program to drive economic integration around the capital Beijing.
The China (Tianjin) Pilot Free Trade Zone was established in 2015 along with two others in the eastern province of Fujian and southern province of Guangdong to test measures including speedier custom clearance, less control on cross-border capital flow and broadened access for foreign investment in China’s service sector.
Currently, three areas in Tianjin make up the Tianjin zone, but as authorities aim to drive administrative and economic integration among Tianjin, Hebei and Beijing, the governments in Tianjin and Hebei are applying to include Caofeidian District, Hebei, into the pilot zone.
Adding a new area outside of Tianjin would enable measures to benefit more places surrounding Beijing. The inclusion plan is pending approval from the State Council.
Eased rules on custom’s clearance at Tianjin zone have already reduced logistic costs for goods being moved around the region by nearly 30 percent, said Jiang Guangjian, an official with Tianjin zone administrative committee.
Tianjin zone is also a major hub for financial leasing services. Airplane and ship leasing accounts for 90 and 80 percent of the country’s total, respectively.