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Guangxi FTZ advances cooperation with ASEAN

The China (Guangxi) Pilot Free Trade Zone has made significant achievements since its establishment in August 2019, said local officials at an online event held Monday. 

As the only free trade zone piloting cooperation with ASEAN, the Guangxi FTZ aims to fully harness the advantages of Guangxi and ASEAN, said Tan Zhiwu, deputy director of the Department of Commerce of Guangxi Zhuang autonomous region.

Covering a total of 119.99 square kilometers, the Guangxi FTZ consists of three areas: 46.8 square kilometers in Nanning, 58.19 square kilometers in Qinzhou Port, and 15 square kilometers in Chongzuo. 

The Guangxi FTZ shoulders the responsibilities to further deepen reform in trade and investment, advance the upgrade and transformation of trade, promote innovation-driven development, and form an important gateway for the Belt and Road, Tan said.

The reform on cooperation with and opening up to ASEAN has made great progress in the past year, he said. For example, the FTZ initiated innovations in informal cross-border trade by allowing paperless customs declarations at border ports.  

A number of platforms to boost cross-border cooperation on logistics, trade, industry, and finance have seen improvements, and the cross-border industrial chain with ASEAN is forming, said Tan. 

In Chongzuo, the clearance time for goods that require no inspection has been shortened from two or three hours to 10 minutes on average, according to Ling Xinggao, deputy director of the management committee of the Chongzuo Area of the Guangxi FTZ. The cost saved for every freight truck ranges between 3,000 to 6,000 yuan.  

In the Qinzhou Port Area, its greatest advantage lies in two industrial parks between China and Malaysia – a cooperation project of the two countries and located in the two countries respectively. The two parks have seen more innovation and cooperation in the past year, said Mo Fuwen, deputy director of the management committee of the Qinzhou Port Area of the Guangxi FTZ. 

The specialty goods from Malaysia such as cubilose, durians, and palm oil have found successes in the Chinese market. So far, 12 companies producing cubilose have entered a local processing and trading base. The base is expected to produce 500 metric tons of cubilose every year, with a total value of 10 billion yuan (US$1.46 billion), Mo said. 

The Qinzhou Port Area is now investing 1.56 billion yuan to build a park for small- and medium-sized Malaysian enterprises, so as to provide industrial services and construct a cross-border industrial and supply chain, Mo said.

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