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Lingang area added to Shanghai FTZ
By:Fu Yifei, Wu Qiong  |  From:english.eastday.com  |  2019-08-09 15:31

On August 6, China's State Council issued an overall plan for the new Lingang area of the China (Shanghai) Pilot Free Trade Zone at its press conference.

The new area is a suburb more than 70 miles away from the city center. How can it undertake the mission of a new round of opening-up?

Great space potentialities in various areas

Currently the FTZ in Shanghai covers an area of 121 square kilometers, which can be divided into seven areas - Waigaoqiao Free Trade Zone, Waigaoqiao Bonded Logistics Park, Yangshan Bonded Port Area, Shanghai Pudong Airport Comprehensive Free Trade Zone, Jinqiao Export Processing Zone, Zhangjiang High-tech Park and Lujiazui Financial and Trade Zone.

As one of the top six functional areas on whose development Shanghai has put priority, Lingang area is situated at the southeastern corner of Shanghai, where the Yangtze River estuary and the Hangzhou Bay meet. It faces Pudong International Airport to the North and Yangshan International Hub Port to the South, becoming an important stop on Shanghai's coastal passageway, and the direct hinterland of the China (Shanghai) Pilot Free Trade Zone. More importantly, it is part of two national planning projects - the Yangtze River Economic Belt and the Marine Silk Road Economic Belt. At the same time, it enjoys many advantages in sea, air, railway, highway, and rail transit.

From the geographical perspective, Lingang has many advantages; and from the industrial orientation, Lingang aims to build a new national industrial demonstration base integrating advanced major equipment manufacturing, modern scientific and technological research and development, export processing and other functions.

In short, Lingang has a good industrial foundation and has formed five major industrial clusters. In view of the above characteristics, setting the FTZ's new area in Lingang can not only give full play to the advantages of its status as a pivot of international transits, but also integrate with the existing industrial base. The reason the spatial layout is so important is that fields like artificial intelligence technology, biological medicine and integrated circuits all have demand on space, especially in the development of high-end manufacturing, and intelligent manufacturing.


Combination of trade chain and advanced manufacturing industry

The special focus on industry is the difference between the plan of this new free trade area and the last round of FTZ expansion. The measures of innovation and business environment optimization in the new area will be more centralized and more precise, combined with the development of its industrial chains and industrial clusters. Therefore, it can boost development as a whole, and thus drive the high-quality integration of the Yangtze River Delta.


At present, Lingang focuses on cultivating two leading industries - artificial intelligence (AI) and robots, while it’s also vigorously developing its three pillar industries - high-end intelligent equipment, marine equipment and intelligent automobiles. It’s also expanding four emerging industries including software and information services, integrated circuits and special equipment, aerospace, energy-saving and environmental protection.

Especially, in the field of new energy vehicles, more than ten top enterprises in this industry, such as Tesla, SAIC and Mercedes-Benz, have settled down in Lingang, and their scale and influence are increasing. They have formed a sound development pattern where independent domestic brands, top foreign brands and new forces in car-building have been competing as well as cooperating with each other. This has resulted in the number of projects undertaken rising considerably, and the process of under-construction projects being accelerated. According to the data provided by the Lingang Administration Committee, the total investment in the completed new energy vehicles and auto parts industry in Lingang had exceeded RMB 24 billion by the end of February this year, and the total industrial output value of the industry had reached RMB 38 billion in 2018.

As an expert points out, one of the tasks undertaken by the new free trade area in industrial development is to follow the new path of industrialization in China, pay attention to the development of the real economy, and achieve the mutual promotion of industries through the integration of trade chains and advanced manufacturing. Therefore, the Lingang area not only helps to realize the transformation and upgrading of trade, but also helps to realize that of the manufacturing industry. On the whole, it can guarantee the high-quality development of industries in Lingang.