Qingdao area of Shandong FTZ, a beacon for reform path ahead
China's Ministry of Commerce announced the establishment of the China (Shandong) Pilot Free Trade Zone, which includes areas in Jinan, Qingdao and Yantai on Aug 26.
The Qingdao part of Shandong FTZ covers the largest area of 52 square kilometers, while the Jinan section covers an area of 37.99 sq km and the Yantai segment covers 29.99 sq km.
The Qingdao section is located in the Qingdao West Coast New Area. It comprises four functional zones -- namely the Qingdao Qianwan Free Trade Port Zone, the West Coast Area Integrated Free Trade Zone, the Qingdao Economic and Technological Development Zone and the Sino-German Ecopark.
Among 112 pilot tasks in the overall blueprint for the Shandong FTZ, 106 will be implemented in the Qingdao area, accounting for nearly 95 percent of the total, officials said.
The Qingdao area will focus on the development of a modern marine industry, international trade, shipping logistics, modern finance, advanced manufacturing and other industries.
It will also aim to build itself into an international shipping hub in northeast Asia, an important innovation center for the eastern coastal areas and a demonstration zone for the development of the maritime economy -- helping the city become an important central coastal city in China.
According to Qingdao government, the city has initially formulated an implementation plan to build the Shandong FTZ area.
Accordingly, a total of six new pilot free trade zones were set up at the time. The other five are in Jiangsu, Hebei, Yunnan and Heilongjiang provinces and Guangxi Zhuang autonomous region.
To date, there are 18 FTZs across the country. Wang Shouwen, vice-minister of commerce, said the move reflects the government's resolve to achieve high-level opening-up and support an opening world economy.
Looking to the future: An aerial view of the Qingdao West Coast New Area photographed in September last year. [Photo/VCG]