Hengqin FTZ thrives on rapport with HK and Macao
Its significant role in pioneering in-depth Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao cooperation and diversifying the Macao economy was celebrated April 23 – the fifth anniversary of Hengqin's China (Guangdong) Pilot Free Trade Zone (FTZ).
Cooperation was key from 2015 to 2019 as Hengqin GDP grew from 12.68 billion yuan ($1.79 billion) to 40.12 billion yuan ($5.67 billion), an annualized rate of 26.4 percent. Fixed-asset investment rose from 28.98 billion yuan ($4.1 billion) to 47.2 billion yuan ($6.67 billion), an average annual growth rate of 15.48 percent.
New Hengqin Checkpoint will open soon
In all, 3,409 foreign-funded enterprises settled in the FTZ over the past five years with a contractual investment of more than $28.8 billion. This was accomplished under the model of pre-establishment national treatment plus a negative list and one-stop settlement service. A regional international trade distribution center and China-Latin American commerce and trade cooperation are both anticipated.
Moreover, there is much cooperation with Macao in sci-tech innovation, characterized finance, medical treatment and healthcare, cross-border commerce and trade, culture-tourism and convention-exhibition, and professional services.
With total investment exceeding $19.3 billion, there are more than 2,400 Macao enterprises in Hengqin. These are all served by streamlined administrative procedures, intelligent taxation, and sound intellectual property protection and commercial conciliation mechanisms.
Hengqin-Macao Youth Entrepreneurship Valley, which has incubated 229 Macao entrepreneurship projects, has become a top destination for younger Macao people to open businesses on the Chinese mainland.
The Guangdong-Macao Cross-Border Financial Cooperation (Zhuhai) Demonstration Zone is offering handsome office rent and purchase and talent subsidies to its first 14 in-house Macao enterprises.
Hengqin International Recreation Island, which should become a world-class travel and recreation center and services site for Portuguese-speaking countries, will bolster diversification of Macao's economy and integration of the Greater Bay Area.
Macao resident showcases social security card that gives coverage under Zhuhai's basic medical insurance [Photos by Li Jianshu / Zhuhai Daily]
In addition to the welcoming business environment, the life, study, and work of Macao people in Hengqin have also become increasingly convenient. For instance: There are cross-border shuttle buses and coverage under Zhuhai's basic medical insurance. The soon-to-open new Hengqin Checkpoint will adopt a "Joint Inspection & One-Time Release" mode, cutting customs clearance time to less than a minute. And, the in-progress Macao New Neighborhood project will give Macao citizens the livelihood facilities and public services they are accustomed to.
As of late 2019, Hengqin had generated more than 440 institutional innovations, three of which were selected as Best Practices of National Pilot FTZs, 33 were chosen as Institutional Innovation Cases of Guangdong FTZs, 12 were promoted nationwide, and 56 were cited throughout Guangdong.
Looking ahead, the Hengqin FTZ business environment will internalize Macao's international free port systems and policies, and advance selected Macao projects. It is to become a new urban center along with Hongwan, Wanzai, and the Zhuhai Free Trade Zone, and a high-quality circle suitable for residential life, work, and travel.