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A Brief Introduction to the Development of State Economic and Technological Development Zone of China
2004-10-27

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 by the approval of the State Council.

In 1992 and 1993, eighteen other 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 approved 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 preferential policies for the ETDZs at state level.

China 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-level ETDZ.

To date, there are 54 national-level ETDZ, among which, eastern coastal regions 33, Middle West regions 21 (Nanjing ETDZ is newly approved to be established). The pattern of national-level ETDZs in various provinces, cities, autonomous regions and other open cities is quite reasonable especially the newly established national-level 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.

Attachment: About different types of development zones

Since the establishment of state-level ETDZs, in order to promote the development of different types of industries, the State Council approved to establish Hi-tech Industrial Zones in 1984, altogether 53 to date, some of which has been merged with economic and technological development zones. In 1990, it established Bonded Area, altogether 15 to date, 7 of which are located in special economic zones and 5 of which are located in ETDZ. In 1992 it established Border Economic Cooperative Zone, altogether 14 to date and in 1999 Export Processing Zone, altogether 38 to date, most of which are located in ETDZ. Moreover, some local governments also approved provincial-level development zones. Although in broad sense those zones mentioned above all belong to development zones for their developing and managing mode are similar, they are quite different in objectives and functions.

Because of the division of management, our website mainly lays emphases on state-level ETDZ. We will refer your questions to the related departments, which will provide information on other types of development zones.

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