Shanghai Free Trade Zone Seeking Expansion

The Waigaoqiao Free Trade Zone (WFTZ) in Shanghai is to enlarge its free trade zone area for the fourth time this October to meet the increasing demand of investors, according to China Daily.

At present, most of the 6.1 square kilometers that already make up WFTZ have been leased out, mainly to manufacturing, stocking and distribution industries, said Li Li, an official with the WFTZ Administration Committee.

After the enlargement, the developed area of WFTZ will reach eight square kilometers, 80 percent of the maximum planned for WFTZ at the beginning of the 1990s.

The companies registered inside this area enjoy zero tariffs and other preferential treatment.

"The fourth enlargement is the result of the large amount of investments that have been attracted to WFTZ since last year," Li said.

WFTZ recorded 69 new investment contracts in fixed assets in the first half of 2000. The total contracted investment is more than US$300 million, a 53.3 percent increase from that of the same period of 1999.

The official attributed the increased investment to improved transportation links by the introduction of transportation by sea.

With funding from the government and Hong Kong investors, Shanghai has almost completed the first three phases of the construction plan of Waigaoqiao Deep-Water Port.

The new Pudong International Airport has also helped WFTZ expand by bringing in more cargos.

(People's Daily)

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