Guangzhou-Hong Kong- Macao apply for FTZ status

Following the opening of China’s first free trade zone (FTZ) in Shanghai last September, Guangdong, Hong Kong and Macao have submitted a request for a FTZ which would cover about 930 sq km – considerably larger than the 28.8 sq km Shanghai FTZ.


Guangzhou-Hong Kong- Macao apply for FTZ status


Following the opening of China’s first free trade zone (FTZ) in Shanghai last September, Guangdong, Hong Kong and Macao have submitted a request for a FTZ which would cover about 930 sq km – considerably larger than the 28.8 sq km Shanghai FTZ. It will also encompass Guangdong’s three special economic zones: Quianhai, near Shenzhen, Nansha and Hengqin Island. However, it has not yet been decided if the Guangzhou Baiyun Airport area will be included.

The proposed FTZ will focus on manufacturing, logistics, international trade, maintenance, research and development and international trade settlement. It is also expected to be more open and inviting towards foreign companies by allowing them equal treatment as Chinese counterparts. Additional benefits of the FTZ include easier overland transport through customs as well as lower tax and costs for ships that are registered in Hong Kong or Macau that call in other ports in the FTZ.

The FTZ could revitalise and stimulate growth within this region particularly as more factories leave the Pearl River Delta to low-cost countries such as Vietnam. This exodus out of the Pearl River Delta has also had a negative impact on the Hong Kong port, which was once the world’s busiest container port but is expected to fall to the fourth busiest container port this year.