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People's Daily Online>>China Business

City aims to stimulate with duty-free shopping project

By Tang Yue and Li Xiang (China Daily)

14:03, February 20, 2012

TIANJIN / BEIJING - With the once-famous Exotic Cargo Market having lost its appeal, Tianjin authorities are looking at turning Dongjiang Island into a duty-free shopping destination.

The island is in Binhai New Area, a production base for about 120 Forbes 500 companies. It is only 45 minutes by car from downtown Tianjin and fewer than two hours from the capital.

"Situated adjacent to Beijing and Tianjin, where consumption is robust, the zone will mean residents do not have to travel to Hainan or Hong Kong (to shop)," Yu Rumin, chairman of Tianjin Port, told China Daily.

Hainan province, an island off the coast of South China, began offering duty-free shopping to Chinese citizens to boost its tourism industry. Several other cities, including Shanghai, now want to follow in its footsteps.

Sales of luxury goods on the Chinese mainland totaled $1.75 billion in January, less than one-fourth the amount spent overseas, the World Luxury Association reported this month.

A survey by the nonprofit organization found that 72 percent of respondents cited the fact that prices are lower overseas, said Ouyang Kun, head of its China office.

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