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Fujian FTZ develops as an important economic springboard

Approved by the State Council in 2014, the China (Fujian) Pilot Free Trade Zone is built as test bed for reform and innovation, aiming to boost cross-Straits links and promote economic ties between Fujian and the economies involved in the Belt and Road Initiative.The FTZ, which started operating in 2015, covers a total of 118.04 square kilometers. It consists of three areas - Pingtan area, Xiamen area and Fuzhou area.Fuzhou area The Fuzhou area, which covers 31.26 sq km, is set to be an advanced equipment manufacturing hub. It is an important platform to promote cooperation and exchanges between China and countries and regions involved in the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road under the BRI - and a demonstration zone for cross-Straits services trade and financial innovation cooperation."A great number of institutional innovations developed in Fuzhou area have been introduced and promoted to other regions in China," said Liang Yong, deputy head of the Administrative Committee of Fuzhou Area of China (Fujian) Pilot Free Trade Zone.Liang said that the benefits of reform in the Fuzhou area are being reaped by businesses outside the FTZ, that are unlocking their market potential."Reports from Deloitte show that more than half of Fuzhou area's 136(reform) innovations have benefited businesses in Fujian or even around China," Liang said.Fifteen reform measures piloted in the Fuzhou area - including the issuance of a unified business license with a unified social credit code - are being promoted around China. In addition, 65 practices are being promoted within Fujian province, according to Liang.Xiamen areaThe 43.78-sq-km Xiamen area is positioned to be a cross-Straits demonstration zone for emerging industries and cross-Straits trade, financial services and shipping centers.Over the past three years, the Xiamen area has expanded its international logistics channels and cooperation areas.The first Sino-Europe freight train departing from a FTZ was launched in Xiamen in 2015. After several years of operation, the Sino-Europe freight train is operating six trains per week.Xiamen-based companies, such as Xiamen Xiangyu Group, have launched businesses in Belt and Road economies.As of the end of March, Xiamen had attracted 146 companies from countries and regions involved in the BRI. The value of exports and imports between Xiamen and the countries and regions taking part in the BRI was 45.5 billion yuan ($6.66 billion), an increase of 25.2 percent year-on-year. The number of shipping routes along the 21st-Century Maritime Silk Road reached 45 during the same period.Pingtan areaThe Pingtan area, covering 43 sq km, is focused on developing international tourism and on being a "common home" for residents on both sides of the Straits.The Pingtan area has become an important gathering place for residents and businesses from Taiwan. The fields of architecture, tourism and education are among the most successful in attracting employees from Taiwan. Pingtan now has 31 registered architects and 139 tour guides from Taiwan, according to the local authority.Many pilot practices have been a success and have been promoted, both within and outside Fujian province.Looking ahead, Pingtan will continue to enhance its business environment to better serve businesses.

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