Cross-Border: China Annonunces Six New Free Trade Zones


New FTZs to help further opening-up. Beijing extends pilot free trade zones to strategic border regions


China will establish new pilot free trade zones (FTZs) in six provinces across the country, extending strategic trials to border regions to help improve trade ties with neighbouring countries and expand the reach of the Belt and Road Initiative. The announcement followed last Friday’s dramatic escalation of the trade war between US and China. Both countries increasing tariffs and reinforcing concerns of a decoupling of the world’s two largest economies and the rising risks of global recession.

The decision, announced on Monday 26, will further facilitate high-level opening-up and boost high-quality development through deeper reforms. The six newly established FTZs are located in Yunnan in the southwest; the coastal provinces of Shandong, Jiangsu and Hebei; Heilongjiang, the northeastern-most province of China’s border and the southern autonomous region Guangxi.


© JingDaily, Changle, Weifang, Shandong Province. Weifang became famous during the ‘80s when many sapphire deposits were discovered in the area, which is now one of the top four sapphire producers in the world.


Till now, 18 FTZs have sprung up across the country. Wang Shouwen, vice-minister of commerce, said the move shows the government’s resolve to achieve high-level opening-up and support an opening world economy. Let’s see in details why these provinces are strictly connected with BRI and why are strategic.

In the north of China, Heilongjiang borders Russia. In addition, Shandong to the east is one of China’s major gateways for trade and investment flows with South Korea and Japan. In the south, Yunnan province borders Vietnam, Laos and Myanmar; while Guangxi also borders Vietnam.

“The Guangxi FTZ aims to promote cross-border trade, logistics and labor cooperation and to boost opening-up in the border areas”, Wang said. “Meanwhile The Heilongjiang FTZ will step up collaboration with Russia by facilitating the movement of people across the border and encouraging companies to expand overseas”, Wang Shouwen said at a press conference on Monday.


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