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One year on, Yantai Free Trade Area sees promising international business environment

By Zhang Xinfeng (People's Daily Online)    11:37, September 07, 2020
One year on, Yantai Free Trade Area sees promising international business environment
The Yantai Area of the China (Shandong) Pilot Free Trade Zone (Photo provided by Jiaodong Online)

The Yantai Area of the China (Shandong) Pilot Free Trade Zone was established on Aug. 31, 2019, showing that Yantai’s reform and opening-up had officially entered the “free trade era”.

Since then, the Yantai free trade area has made significant progress in deepening cooperation with Japan and South Korea, as well as optimizing its business environment by targeting the Asia-Pacific region to open up and cooperate in an all-round way.

Industrial park attracts South Korean and Japanese enterprises

The Yantai Area of the China (Shandong) Pilot Free Trade Zone is China’s nearest free trade area to South Korea and the only free trade area that has a China-ROK industrial park.

The China-ROK (Yantai) Industrial Park has made continuous efforts to accelerate system innovation and reform and opening up, provide multidimensional support through cross-border approval services and other relevant measures to attract Korean enterprises to settle down and start up businesses.

Since it went into operation, the industrial park has received nearly 1,000 South Korean business personnel and introduced over 60 ROK-invested projects, signing contracts involving a total of $300 million of investment from South Korea. A number of projects have successively settled in the park, including the province’s first South Korean law firm and vocational training institution, among others.

Japan is Yantai's second largest trading partner and largest export market. The Yantai free trade area has also accelerated the construction of the China-Japan Industrial Park. A large number of Japan's Fortune 500 enterprises and industry leaders have settled in Yantai, including the first domestic UHD Industry Research Institute, 5G Joint Innovation Laboratory and other key projects, showing the vitality of the city’s economic exchanges with Japan.

Investment facilitation measures attract more foreign enterprises

On February 20 this year, the investment promotion office of Yantai free trade area in the ROK issued business licenses to Liyuansha (Yantai) Technology and Lufu (Yantai) Electronic Technology in Seoul.

Cho Sung Su, General Manager of Yantai Lufu Electronic Technology Co., Ltd, said: “As we had to go to China to apply for the business license, the company postponed the project promotion plan, but later we learned that we could get the business license right here in ROK, so we are now free from worries."

The Yantai free trade area initiated a national pioneering mode featuring the facilitation of the cross-border handling of procedures for China-Japan-ROK investment throughout the country, providing offshore services for the entire process for enterprise start-ups, allowing the electronic business license to be obtained immediately.

A total of 11 foreign enterprises in countries including South Korea, Japan, Malaysia and Hungary have obtained business licenses from the Yantai free trade area overseas, turning it into a powerful tool for attracting projects in the "post-pandemic" era.

Since the establishment of the Free Trade Zone, Yantai’s Administrative Examination and Approval Service Bureau has constantly streamlined administrative procedures. Their efforts have reduced report preparation time by two-thirds and the approval time by three-quarters, cutting the costs for enterprises by nearly 60 percent.

Thanks to more open policies and more convenient investment, over 4,500 new enterprises have been registered in the Yantai free trade area, 1.5 times the number year-on-year. The number of newly-settled South Korean projects doubled during the same period last year, and Yantai has become one of the regions with the highest number of South Korean enterprises in China.

Yantai International Trade Center triggers investment boom

In addition to simplifying procedures, the launch of the international trade center and investment promotion service center in Yantai free trade area has also boosted investment facilitation and set off a new round of investment and business booms.

To date, 126 enterprises have registered in the international trade center, generating a total import and export revenue of 18.6 billion yuan, including 14.52 billion yuan from January to July this year.

Taking full advantage of its advanced manufacturing industry and transportation location, the international trade center is focused on attracting enterprises with foreign trade growth potential in areas covering headquarters, cross-border e-commerce, new foreign trade format, bulk commodity trade, and more.

"The advantages of the pilot free trade zone and the development zone, such as tax, import and export policies, are the most important factors that attract us to settle here,” said Kong Fanshen, chairman of Shandong Yunrongtong E-commerce Company, whose main business is B2B and B2C cross-border trade display and transaction facilitation. 


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