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A Brief Introduction of National Economic and Technological Development Zones in China

At the beginning of 1984, to further open to the outside world, China government decided to establish economic and technological development zones (Hereinafter referred to ETDZ) along seas by using successful experiences of special economic zones in the previous period.

From 1984 to 1988, 14 ETDZs including Dalian, Qinhuangdao, Tianjin, Yantai, Qingdao, Lianyungang, Nantong, Minhang, Hongqiao, Caohejing, Ningbo, Fuzhou, Guangzhou, Zhanjiang are the first that had been established after the approval of the State Council.

In 1992 and 1993, eighteen other national ETDZs including Yingkou, Changchun, Shenyang, Harbin, Weihai, Kunshan, Hangzhou, Xiaoshan, Wenzhou, Rongqiao, Dongshan, Guangzhou Nansha, Huizhou Dayawan, Wuhu, Wuhan, Chongqing, Beijing, Urumchi are the second to be set up.

From 2000 to 2002, the State Council decided to build the third group including Hefei, Zhengzhou, Xi'an, Changsha, Chengdu, Kunming, Gunyang, Nanchang, Shihezi, Xining, Huhhot, Taiyuan, Nanning, Yinchuan, Lanzhou, Lasa, Lanzhou.

Besides, it also ratified Suzhou Industrial Park, Hainan Yangpu ETDZ, Shanghai Jinqiao Export Processing Zone, Ningbo Daxie ETDZ and Xiamen Haicang Investment Zone to enjoy the same preferential policies with these national ETDZs.

The state-level ETDZ is a relatively small piece of land carved up in the coastal cities and other open cities. It attaches great importance to improving hard and soft investment environment and adheres to the policy of "mainly developing the high-tech industry, focusing on industrial projects, absorbing foreign fund and building up export-oriented economy" to strive for a fast and sound development. Serving as "Windows and bases" in the fields of opening-up, capital attraction, export enlargement, hi-tech development and regional economy promotion, it now becomes a powerful engine in developing regional economy and plays an important role in adjusting regional economy and industry structure. As a matter of fact, The ETDZs have scored great achievements and become the hot places of foreign investment and main forces of export.

The ETDZs of coastal cities have achieved remarkable success. By summarizing the experience of fast and sound development of national development zones, as a major component of a strategy to develop the western area, the State Council made a decision in 1999 that middle west provinces, autonomous regions and municipalities directly under the central government could choose one qualified and established provincial-level ETDZ from its capital city to bid for a national ETDZ.

To date, there are 54 national-level ETDZ, among which, eastern coastal regions 34, Middle West regions 21. The pattern of national ETDZs in various provinces, cities, autonomous regions and other open cities is quite reasonable especially the newly established national ETDZs, which will play an active role in implementing the strategy of developing the west strengthening the economic cooperation between eastern and middle western regions and promoting the coordinated growth of regional economy.

(Source: Ministry of Commerce)

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