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Sichuan launches FTZ to boost inland growth

Sichuan province is an economic powerhouse in the less-developed western China. The province has been included in a third group of pilot free trade zones (FTZs) and is gearing up to cash in on its transport and industrial strengths. It is also seeking more foreign investment.

As the busiest traffic hub in western China, the Chengdu airport ranks among the top five in terms of traffic volume in the Chinese mainland. Kerry Logistics, based in Hong Kong, says the new FTZ means improved connections.

“It allows us to have more business interactions with companies along the Yangtze River, and coastal regions, and even from neighboring countries. It means more capital inflow in China and abroad, and more customers as well,” said Liu Gangcheng, general manager of Kerry Logistics’s Chengdu branch.

Liu Xin, one of the planners, says while the province is benefiting from key development strategies like the Belt and Road Initiative, the FTZ provides a chance to conduct systemic reforms, providing easier trade and better governance.