China's mainland to have first free port by 2020

09:18, December 16, 2009      

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Hong Kong is often regarded as a shopping paradise by many people from Chinese mainland. Thanks to the free port, imported goods, especially luxuries, cosmetics and digital products, are less expensive than in the mainland.

However, Hong Kong may lose the advantage of being the only free port after 2015 because Shanghai is planning to build up an international free port which will not only upgrade Shanghai to become an international shipping center, but also further accelerate the consumption market there.

Usually a free port is a special customs area with favorable customs regulations (or no customs duties and controls for transshipment). Moreover, imported goods can also be converted, processed, stored long-term or sold in free port. That is why imported goods are less expensive in Hong Kong.

Shanghai has launched a three-step strategy for building up a free port, according to Xiao Lin, deputy director from Shanghai Municipal Development and Reform Commission.

First step from 2009 to 2010, Shanghai will launch a series of preferential policies including tax relief in bonded area and promote enterprises to open offshore accounts.

Second step from 2011 to 2015, Shanghai will explore new managerial systems and reform shipping taxation.

The last step from 2016 to 2020, the functions and system of the free port will have basically taken shape in Shanghai.

By People's Daily Online
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