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Zhuhai is one of 22 additional cities selected at a State Council executive meeting to upgrade foreign trade as pilot zones for cross-border e-commerce.
On July 13, Zhuhai and Dongguan become the third and fourth Guangdong cities listed, joining Guangzhou and Shenzhen.
Since 2015, China had established cross-border e-commerce pilot zones in 13 cities, including Shanghai and Hangzhou. This has tested new policies to expedite customs clearance of items consumers buy from foreign websites. The value of goods passing through those zones more than doubled two years in a row.
Now, wider applications of the model should bring about similar achievements. "We should facilitate domestic consumption and at the same time improve export quality in the global market," said Premier Li Keqiang.
Trade flourishes at border park in Changshengwei, Gongbei [File photo]
The listing acknowledges Zhuhai's strong commitment to an open economy as shown by rapid growth in foreign trade. Data from January to May this year put the city's import and export volume at 130 billion yuan ($20.3 billion), a year-by-year increase of 23.2 percent.
The Zhuhai-Macao Cross-Border Industrial Zone, Doumen Guangfeng Logistics Park, and Hengqin New Area have been in good operation, supported by the Zhuhai Cross-Border E-commerce Public Service Platform and "single window" international trade platform services.
For example, the Zhuhai-Macao Cross-Border Industrial Zone Zhuhai Park under the jurisdiction of the Zhuhai Free Trade Zone started cross-border e-commerce retail imports and exports in 2015. In 2017, the number of cross-border e-commerce import and export customs clearances there exceeded 330,000, a year-on-year increase of 149 percent, and the value of goods reached 65.3 million yuan ($10.2 million), an increase of 181 percent.
A full e-commerce industrial chain is being created under the new development pattern. All-round assistance through policy support is being given to information sharing, smart logistics service, e-commerce credit, statistical monitoring, and risk control.
Ten projects have been attracted to the Zhuhai Free Trade Zone's incubation base to conduct cross-border e-commerce, not to mention a host of other leading enterprises that are growing rapidly in or cooperating with the zone.
The new pilot zones will be established in Beijing, Hohhot, Shenyang, Changchun, Harbin, Nanjing, Nanchang, Wuhan, Changsha, Nanning, Haikou, Guiyang, Kunming, Xi'an, Lanzhou, Xiamen, Tangshan, Wuxi, Weihai, Zhuhai, Dongguan, and Yiwu.