The government has put out guidelines for three new Free Trade Zones in Tianjin, Guangdong, and Fujian, and an expanded Shanghai FTZ on April 20. Officials say the major goal is to explore the government’s new roles in less red tape and boosting operating standards.
The three newly set up FTZs are to take targeted tasks to lift regional cooperation and growth. Guangdong province will strengthen ties with Hong Kong and Macao, and build its status as a hub for the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road. Tianjin will boost its role in high-end manufacturing, financial services, and trade. Fujian’s tasks include tourism, trade, and cross-Strait cooperation.
The Shanghai Free Trade Zone was set up two years ago, in a trial program to innovate governance and enhance the country’s finance, trade and service sector. The central government gave the green light to its expansion proposal, and spread its experience.
Analysts say other functions of the FTZs include working with peripheral areas and upgrading China’s economic structure.