Shanghai Free Trade Zone 7 years on / Reforms and Innovation

Innovative models promote economic growth amid epidemic



Sam's Club China plans to open its largest single floored outlet in the Waigaoqiao bonded area of the China (Shanghai) Pilot Free Trade Zone in 2021. [Photo/Provided to]

A cross-border e-commerce website for industrial products was unveiled in the Pudong Airport Free Trade Zone in Shanghai on May 7, which made it easier for consumers to buy semiconductor products online.

Thanks to the innovative efforts made by the China (Shanghai) Pilot Free Trade Zone (FTZ), the zone's foreign trade volume totaled 247.47 billion yuan ($36.13 billion) in the first three months of this year, up 3.1 percent year-on-year, showing a trend-bucking surge in import and export trade.

Due to the COVID-19 epidemic, transportation of awkward cargo has encountered difficulties across the world, which has led to a sharp decrease in the import and export of integrated circuit products.

In response, the Shanghai FTZ has explored a new trade model and launched an online platform for small and medium-sized enterprises from across the world to purchase chips of various specifications at the bonded area by placing orders online at home.

Consumers in Shanghai can receive their products the same day, while in other places products will be delivered the next day.

Local authorities said that the new trade model will help the Pudong Airport Free Trade Zone develop into a characteristic park for the integrated circuit industry. 

Since the COVID-19 outbreak, the Shanghai FTZ has rolled out an array of favorable measures to balance epidemic control with economic and social development. Statistics show that the foreign trade volume of integrated circuits in the zone expanded 34.3 percent year-on-year to 58.39 billion yuan, accounting for 23.6 percent of the zone's total foreign trade volume.

Foreign investors said that they still have full confidence in the Shanghai FTZ.

German-based Liebherr Group, a leading international corporation, invested nearly 300 million yuan to set up its regional headquarters in the zone, which are expected to be completed in 2021 and generate an annual output value of 2 billion yuan after beginning operations.

Sam's Club, a Wal-Mart-owned membership warehouse club, said that it plans to open a flagship store in the Waigaoqiao bonded area of the Shanghai FTZ in 2021, which will cover a construction area of 70,000 square meters. Upon completion, it will be the largest independent building operated by the company.

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