Zhejiang to boost overseas trade cooperation zones
Representatives from Zhejiang province's overseas trade cooperation zones, and companies in the Yangtze River Delta region, engage in commercial discussions in Ningbo on June 9. [Photo/zj.zjol.com]
The provincial government of Zhejiang province held a conference for its overseas trade cooperation zones and companies within the Yangtze River Delta, or YRD region, in Ningbo on June 9 to boost the development of the zones.
A contract was signed between Zhejiang Seaport Group and five other firms to establish a joint venture company to build a key economic and trade zone in Dubai – a milestone for the province to have commercial involvement in the construction of such a zone in the Middle East.
An alliance for the development of Zhejiang's overseas economic and trade zones was also launched at the conference, to boost the province's investment overseas and reduce the operating risks of the zones.
"Faced with the severe China-US trade disputes, such zones help companies avoid trade risks to some extent, thus enhancing their international competitiveness," said Li Guanding, deputy mayor of Ningbo.
Ningbo has built up a lot of experience in constructing the zones. For example, a local textile company has established a modern spindle production base in Vietnam, which was selected as a provincial model overseas economic and trade zone last year.
Zhejiang has made such zones an important part of Belt and Road cooperation and a vital platform for its economic opening-up to the world. It was home to 737 overseas companies and agencies by the end of last year, and recorded an overseas investment of $18.38 billion that year, up 90.6 percent on the previous year.
The province now has four national-level and eight provincial-level overseas economic and trade cooperation zones spreading over Southeast Asia, Central Asia, Europe and Americas.
The zones focus on diverse areas such as manufacturing, technology research, resource applications and agriculture.
"We will extend the scope of such zones to central and eastern European countries as well as Africa next, to open up new space for companies in Zhejiang and the YRD to grow, and also boost the development of countries involved in the Belt and Road Initiative," said a spokesman from Zhejiang's department of commerce.