Pilot free trade zone looks back on year of remarkable achievements
The zone has invented more than 10 programs that underpin its effectiveness and development.
For example, the local government has streamlined its administrative procedures to ease the burden on enterprises. The processing time for registering an establishment was cut to one workday. Fast passes were given to major projects. Also, a matchmaking platform went online to better serve enterprises.
To boost trade, the government found a new way to calculate fees on imported goods. This is expected to increase annual foreign trade by 3 million metric tons. Meanwhile, packaging materials were recycled in the zone, which has not only brought benefits to enterprises but saved energy and reduced emissions. Services around international mail, express and e-commerce have also been improved. Exporters that have submitted declarations in advance now can ship and export their goods upon arrival at the zone.
The zone has launched pilot measures focused on the digital renminbi and offered a series of supportive policies for cross-border use of RMB.
The Changsha area of the zone has got 53 major projects concerning high-end equipment manufacturing, information technology, modern service industry and the airport economy off the ground. Local officials said that Changsha has seen more China-Europe freight trains and improved international freight routes.
It takes no more than four hours from Changsha to arrive in many prosperous areas of the world, that is to say an economic circle is taking shape, added local officials.
In addition, the Yueyang area of the zone has offered a home to booming industries such as logistics, new materials and e-commerce. It has fostered collaborations with ports in Shanghai and Ningbo, Zhejiang province. The Chenzhou area has also forged close ties with the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area.
In the past year, the zone has attracted 5,934 enterprises. Its paid-in foreign capital reached $704 million. A total of 270 projects worth 274.38 billion yuan ($42.86 billion) were carried out in the zone. The foreign trade volume of the zone reached 146 billion yuan, accounting for more than 30 percent of the province's total during the same period.
"Hunan, an inland province, does not boast resources as other provinces near the sea or along the coast. It must make full use of this national-level platform to further its opening-up," said Shen Yumou, head of Hunan's Provincial Commercial Department.