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Hengqin Free Trade Zone


Updated: 2020-03-25

As a national strategic platform, Hengqin is the first world-geared and Hong Kong-Macao-prioritized Demonstration Area in Close Cooperation With Guangdong. It is also China's only national new area of "One Island, Two Systems." In addition, as a key part of China's future Pilot Free Trade Zone, it is hailed by People's Daily as "a new landmark of Reform & Opening Up."

Situated in southeast Zhuhai in Guangdong Province, the Hengqin Free Trade Zone (FTZ) is only 34 nautical miles from Hong Kong and merely 187 m (205 yd) apart from Macao. The opening of the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macao Bridge makes Hengqin the only pilot free trade zone directly connected to Hong Kong and Macao by road.

Shoring up the landmark island are: unique location -- at the border of One Country, Two Systems; the widest-open port in the country -- a customs clearance system with hierarchical management; unique policy awarded to a new economic zone in China -- valet services on taxation, finance, industry, and IT, as well as a headquarters economy more preferential than those in a special economic zone; and the most flexible controls -- a pilot zone of systems and mechanisms to bring together the best practices of Hong Kong, Macao, and the Chinese mainland.


Hengqin is developing tourism, leisure, healthcare, commercial and financial services, culture, science, education, and hi-tech industries. It is a cultural and educational opening-up pilot zone and international business, service, recreational, and travel base. The FTZ is also a recent advocate of Macao's moderate economic diversification through non-gaming elements and strengthened regional cooperation.


[Photo courtesy Zhuhai Daily]

Innovative policies

Implementing line-division management to expedite "first-line" customs inspection, strictly control "second-line" examinations, separate people from goods, and to conduct classified administration

Taking the national lead in launching business registration reform

Taking the national lead in formulating an executive pattern encompassing decision-making, and administrative and consultation committees

Becoming the nationwide first to publicize illegal business practices of main market players (industrial and commercial) in detailed accounts; businesses can quickly search online to see what these practices are defined

Launching the pilot franchise business of individual domestic-foreign currency conversion with the first-issued multi-currency UnionPay IC cards

Issuing Hengqin New Area Integrity Island Promotion Measures to formulate a comprehensive regulatory system in commodity source tracking, supervision, law enforcement, penalties, compensation in advance, and in other matters

Clients can choose Hong Kong in written agreement as a venue for arbitration should disputes arise involving property rights

Preferential policies

Eligible enterprises in Hengqin are taxed at a reduced rate of 15 percent.

Administration of bonded or tax exempt production-related goods entering Hengqin from abroad has been conducted.

Production-related goods sold from areas of the Chinese mainland to Hengqin are treated as exports and enjoy tax refunds.

Transactions among enterprises located within the Hengqin FTZ are exempted from any value-added and/or consumption tax.

Hong Kong/Macao residents working in Hengqin receive the appropriate China Individual Income Tax (IIT) deduction from the Guangdong Provincial Government so that their effective China IIT burden would be close to what they would pay if they instead had been working where they are domiciled.

Clearance procedures for residents of Hong Kong and Macao entering and leaving Hengqin are simplified, with 24-hour passage at the Hengqin Checkpoint.

Administrative regulations have been issued for Macao vehicles with single license plates (to be operated exclusively within Hengqin).

Already operating in Hengqin FTZ

Chimelong International Ocean Tourist Resort

Hengqin Campus of the University of Macau

Shizimen Central Business District

Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) Science & Technology Industrial Park of Cooperation between Guangdong & Macao

Yacht Marina and Yacht Industry Demonstration Base 

National-level strategic high ground – Hengqin New Area

Xi Jinping, who at the time was China's vice president, came to Macao in January 2009 to announce that the Central Government had decided to commence the official development of Hengqin Island.

Consequently, the State Council issued The Hengqin Overall Development Plan that August.

When he returned to survey Hengqin on Dec 8, 2012, Xi Jinping, now the country's president, stated, "Now that the blueprint for Hengqin has been drafted, it’s time to hit the road, and bright prospects loom."

Solid foundation for enduring infrastructure

Complying with the government’s requirements for "high standard, high quality and high speed" and aspiring toward "a solid foundation for long-lasting infrastructure," Hengqin is creating an integrated transport network centering on public transit. Meanwhile, to ensure water and energy conservation and a green city, resources have been assigned to establish an innovation-based, low-carbon, and energy-efficient modern public utilities system.

Municipal utility tunnels

Hengqin Island has the longest utility tunnels (up to 33.4 km) accounting for the largest one-time investment on the Chinese mainland. All electrical wires and cables, water and gas lines, waste discharge, air conditioning and heating conduits, fiber communication and pipe network maintenance accesses are underground.

Hengqin Port transport hub

Located in the port area abutting the University of Macau in the north, the 21-hectare Hengqin Port Comprehensive Transport Hub is a landmark urban complex combining checkpoint customs services, urban integrated transport, and support business facilities. The Macau Light Rapid Transit and Guangzhou-Zhuhai Intercity MRT intersect here.

Shizimen CBD Hengqin section

Across the Maliuzhou Waterway, which runs north-south along the Wanzai, Hengqin, and Cross-Border Industrial Zone Checkpoint in Maoshengwei (Gongbei) checkpoints, and facing Macao toward the east, this 5.77-sq-km area of the central business district is designated for finance, conventions and exhibitions, and with business and trade.

Hengqin Headquarters Building

Encompassing 80,000 sq m, the project includes a 490 m (1,608 ft) main tower and three to four 150 m support buildings. It is seen as a landmark in the Hong Kong, Zhuhai, and Macao environs and China's first cross-border pilot office building in accordance with Interim Measures to Encourage Macao Companies to Set Up Cross-Border Offices in Hengqin New Area, which was released March 11, 2019.

Hengqin Chimelong International Ocean Tourist Resort

Featuring global recreational holidaymaking, tourism and entertainment, this world-class integrated tourist resort is replete with theme parks and deluxe hotels. Ongoing are business conventions and exhibitions, shopping, sports, and recreational activities. Ocean Kingdom, the most-visited part of Chimelong International Tourist Resort, has already set five Guinness records and received over 10 million tourists in 2018. The annual visitor number of the resort is expected to surpass 50 million with the addition of Chimelong Marine Science Park, Chimelong Ocean Science Hotel, and Chimelong Theater.


[Photo by Zhu Xi / Zhuhai Daily]

Hengqin Legend Pondo (Friendship) Square

Constructed by Macao Lai leng Investment, the 30,000 sq m government-guided, Macao SMEs-invested square is across Huandao Road from Hengqin Checkpoint. The square contains a large shopping mall, retail, catering, theater, and other facilities, and provides a venture platform for Macao's SMEs.

TCM Science & Technology Industrial Park of Cooperation between Guangdong & Macao

Jointly developed by the governments of Guangdong Province and the Macao Special Administrative Region, this industrial park is the first real estate project to implement the Framework Agreement on Cooperation Between Guangdong & Macao. An innovated cooperation pattern of the two areas, the project is now becoming a major international health technology industrial cluster and a personalized health-maintenance resort focusing on competitive Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), TCM health services, and TCM cultural industry.

Guangdong-Macao Cooperation Industrial Park

In addition to GMTCM Park, Hengqin has reserved 4.5 sq km of land for Guangdong-Macao Cooperation Industrial Park to develop TCM, cultural and creative, education, training and other industries. Twenty-eight projects had signed up to settle in the park as of February 2020.

Hengqin institutional and systematic reform

Second-tier regulatory inspection facilities connecting Hengqin Island and Zhuhai -- the first of the kind in China -- came into operation on June 28, 2014.

Preferential policies for Macao

Eleven Measures of Hengqin New Area on Supporting Macao's Moderate Diversified Economic Development have been issued in favor of Macao investment. These measures concern land acquisition, industrial construction and infrastructure, and access by Macao businesses and employees to public resources such as talent apartments.

Macao residents working in Hengqin New Area also benefit from individual income tax deficiency payments, cross-border commuter busing, and Zhuhai's basic medical insurance. A Macao New Neighborhood project also gives Macao residents in Hengqin the lifestyle facilities and public services they are used to.

Financial cooperation with Hong Kong and Macao

Multi-currency UnionPay IC card issued for the first time allows for the rapid settlement of cross-border payments.

Settlement has been implemented of foreign exchange capital by foreign-funded enterprises in Hengqin New Area.

Insurance agencies in Hengqin, Guangdong, and Macao have cooperated to provide mutual cross-border motor vehicle insurance.

Hengqin financial institutions have joined the Macao Pass contactless smartcard payment system, the first of its kind in the Chinese mainland.

Hengqin will provide attractive office facilities rent and purchase and talent subsidies to enterprises that locate in the upcoming Guangdong-Macao Cross-Border Financial Cooperation (Zhuhai) Demonstration Zone.




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