Binjiang expands Zheijiang Free Trade Zone
Since the establishment of the China (Zhejiang) Pilot Free Trade Zone in 2017, Zhejiang Province has enjoyed many unique opportunities to develop by virtue of its location, booming digital industry, thriving private economy and great port facilities.
Hangzhou has been given green light and got the approval of building a free trade zone in Binjiang District as part of the Zhejiang FTZ which currently has four segments — Zhoushan, Ningbo, Jinhua and Hangzhou.
On January 15, Binjiang government announced 36 preferential measures to provide a shot in the arm to international digital trade.
“The establishment of the FTZ is key to develope a healthy and high-quality economy,” said Wang Min, Party secretary of Binjiang District. “Binjiang will capitalize on its strengths and build a global digital trade center.”
The zone covers 11.32 square kilometers and includes financial technology, artificial intelligence, digital security, integrated circuit, Internet of Things and cloud computing companies.
On the same day, the Free Trade Building was launched, with the first group of 18 projects setting up offices there. In the future, it will become a hub for international digital trade in the city.
For years, Binjiang government has strived to create a district with the strongest digital economy in China and has built an Internet of Things Town as part of that goal.
The town is situated in the center of the free trade zone, and its ideal location is expected to accelerate development under the government’s policies.
Last year, Binjiang launched a new development blueprint which stated that by 2025, Binjiang will have two industrial clusters for AI and Internet of Things worth 100 billion yuan (US$15.46 billion) each.
“The approval of Zhejiang FTZ is a high recognition from the central government,” said Wang. “It’s an opportunity for us to upgrade industries, achieve the 2025 goal and expand space for future development.”
Binjiang government hopes to cash in on the FTZ and develop a variety of centers including a top-flight AI innovation zone, fintech pilot center, global cross-border e-commerce center and national pilot digital economy center.
In the zone, the annual digital industry earnings are projected to reach 600 billion yuan within five years. GDP growth and research and development expenditures are expected to be 3 to 5 percent higher than the average level in Binjiang.
The local government plans to build a standardized model that could offer global free trade insights to other cities.
Leading digital companies, including Hundsun Electronics, LianLian Pay, Sunyard Technology and PingPong, have been given the “Innovative Digital Finance Company” imprimatur.
“Digital finance must serve the physical economy,” said Bao Kedong, senior vice president of LianLian Pay. “We should explore the ‘digital-plus service’ mode and innovate applications to bring high-quality digital services to more small and medium-sized companies as well as consumers.”
Last week, Binjiang government introduced the LINKINIP platform that helps protect and commercialize companies’ intellectual properties in global free trade.
“Building trade platforms is important in developing the FTZ,” Wang said. “We must diversify such platforms and support local companies to build more. At the same time, we will continue to promote the eWPT globally.”
The eWTP is a multilateral international collaboration and electronic trade platform that formulates new rules for international e-commerce, designed to benefit developing countries by making “global sell” and “global buy” easier.
Launched by Alibaba in 2016, the eWTP also promotes the best practices from Hangzhou’s cross-border e-commerce industry to other parts of the world, especially the Belt and Road Initiative countries, in the hope of reconnecting the ancient Silk Road with electronic businesses.