An overall plan for the China (Fujian) Pilot Free Trade Zone was issued by the State Council on April 20, focusing on cross-Strait economic cooperation.
The Fujian free trade zone will serve as a key zone to prepare for further institutional innovation and is a core area for building the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road, according to the plan.
The FTZ, covering a total area of 118.04 square km, will include industrial areas in the provincial capital of Fuzhou, the city of Xiamen, and Pingtan, a new industrial park targeting cross-Strait investment.
Pingtan will focus on establishing itself as a “Common Homeland” for people across the Strait as well as an international tourism destination, to facilitate cross-Strait exchanges on trade, investment, capital and personnel.
Xiamen will give priority to the construction of demonstration zones for cross-Strait emerging industries and the service industry, as well as the centers for cross-Strait shipping, financial services and trade.
Fuzhou will develop an advanced manufacturing base and serve as the platform for communication and cooperation among countries and regions along the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road. It will also be the demonstration zone of innovative cross-Strait cooperation on trade and finance.
According to the plan, the key task of the Fujian FTZ is to pave the way for China’s deepening reform and opening up.
The provincial government should delegate administrative power to the FTZ, in an effort to transform the government’s functions, it said.
In terms of deepening cross-Strait economic cooperation, the plan requires the Fujian FTZ to fully utilize its advantages in boosting investment and trade liberalization between Fujian province and Taiwan, and facilitating cross-Strait exchanges of capital and personnel.
Industries such as communication, transportation, tourism and healthcare will be further opened, to push forward the deepening opening up of services to Taiwan. Preferential policies will also be implemented in the FTZ to facilitate personnel exchanges.
As an important starting point of the Maritime Silk Road, Fujian enjoys good conditions for opening up. As a result, the Fujian FTZ will also serve for the Belt and Road Initiative by promoting trade and economic cooperation along the route, according to the plan.