HK-Macau-PRD Free Trade Zone One Step Closer to RealityPosted: 05/4/2014 3:15 pm
Today in “bun in the oven” news: A proposal for a free trade zone that encompasses Hong Kong, Macau and parts of Guangdong Province via the Closer Economic Partnership Arrangement (CEPA) is now under revision by some 28 ministries and commissions after being approved by the central government, reports Want China Times.
First proposed back in February of this year, the Guangdong free trade zone will unify disparate parts of the Pearl River Delta in a total area that is much larger than the free trade zone in Shanghai. Planned for economic amalgamation are the Shenzhen Qianhai Special Economic Zone, the Guangzhou Nansha Special Economic Zone, the Zhuhai Hengqin Special Economic Zone, Hong Kong and Macau.
Another defining characteristic of this proposed free trade zone are the individual characteristics of each of the markets. Under this arrangement, Guangdong Province may seek gains from the much freer markets of Hong Kong and Macau. According to the Index of Economic Freedom, Hong Kong has been rated the world’s most free market economy for 19 consecutive years, while Macau lags behind at 26th position. In comparison, the market in mainland China ranks world-wide at 136.
Guangdong Governor Zhu Xiaodan said that the new free trade zone will focus on liberalizing trade and initialize a system of cooperation in the high-end service industry.
According to Lin Jiang, dean of the public finance and taxation department of Lingnan College at Sun Yat-sen University in Guangzhou, the focus on liberalizing services through trade will set Guangdong’s free trade zone apart from the China Pilot Free Trade Zone in Shanghai.
A shift to embrace more free trade zones will be an ongoing trend if Standard Charter’s appraisal of China as the first “true mega-trader” since 1800′s Britain is apt.
However, the proposal for this free trade zone are expected to take years to formalize. Meanwhile, anyone wanting to purchase the newly unbanned Xbox One will have to go to Shanghai’s free trade zone starting this September.