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NDRC Issues Industrial Development Plan for Fujian Pilot Free Trade Zone

The National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) recently issued the Industrial Development Plan for the China (Fujian) Pilot Free Trade Zone (FTZ) (2015-2019), outlining the blueprint for the industrial development of the pilot free trade zone with Fujian's own special characteristics in terms of industrial foundation, overall requirements, priorities, layout and safeguard measures. It is a guideline for the FTZ's industrial development and project layout.

Fujian is one of the leaders in GDP growth rate in the first half of 2015 in the statistics just announced by China for its 31 provinces. The province also fared much better than the rest of the country in the July import and export figures.

Based on this Plan, Fujian will highlight the two characteristics of industrial cooperation with Taiwan and the "Maritime Silk Road" strategy, get actively involved in "Internet Plus" and the "Made in China 2025" action plan, and focus on developing seven major industrial clusters: commercial service, shipping service, modern logistics, financial service, emerging service, tourism service and high-end manufacturing.

In commercial service, efforts will be made to develop commodity exchange, bonded commodity exhibition and trading, cross-border e-commerce, offshore and entrepot trade, and international corporate headquarters.

In shipping service, efforts will be made to develop port service, domestic and international transshipment service, basic shipping service, high-end shipping service and Xiamen Airport comprehensive service. In modern logistics, efforts will be made to develop international transshipment logistics and comprehensive port logistics.

The overall objective is that by 2019, the key economic indicators of the Fujian pilot FTZ will show increases over 2014 as follows: GDP will reach Rmb194 billion, equivalent to an average annual growth rate of 18%; foreign direct investment will reach US$1.3 billion, equivalent to an average annual growth rate of 21%; total imports and exports will reach US$28.6 billion, equivalent to an average annual growth rate of 13%; and cross-Strait trade will reach US$4.8 billion, equivalent to an average annual growth rate of 15%.

The characteristics and highlights of the Plan mainly find expression in the following: On the one hand, it makes clear the spatial distribution for industrial development in the three sub-zones, which will contribute to collaboration among the three sub-zones and prevent homogenous development. On the other hand, it identifies the seven industrial clusters of commercial service, shipping service, modern logistics, financial service, emerging service, tourism service and high-end manufacturing. The implementation of this Plan will not be easy, but its realisation is quite possible if the departments concerned can adopt correct strategies and flexibly adapt to market changes.

The GDP figures for the first half of 2015 recently announced by the National Bureau of Statistics for China's 31 provinces show Fujian ranking sixth in growth rate with 8.6%. The import and export figures for the same period announced by the General Administration of Customs in July show Fujian enjoying an obvious leading edge as a major foreign trade province and performing better than the overall situation with imports and exports only showing a slight drop of 0.5%. Its decline was smallest among major foreign trade provinces and municipalities like Guangdong, Jiangsu, Shanghai and Zhejiang.

China's foreign trade was sluggish as a whole in the first half of 2015 and most foreign trade provinces registered substantial drops in their imports and exports. The fact that Fujian only registered a small decline may have something to do with the approval to establish the Fujian FTZ. The major benefits brought by the FTZ to Fujian include enlivening its trade situation and giving it greater scope for development.

Content provided by Picture: HKTDC Research
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