China will expand the number of comprehensive bonded zones (CBZs) to 150 by the end of this year, especially in its central and western regions, to further stabilize foreign trade and investment, a top Customs official said on Wednesday.
New policy measures will be enacted to encourage participation from more companies and projects, especially setting up CBZs within national level new areas and economic development zones later this year, said Ni Yuefeng, minister of the General Administration of Customs.
A comprehensive bonded zone is a special Customs supervision area established by the Chinese government with reference to the free trade zones (parks) that are commonly used internationally.
In addition to an abundance of preferential policies for foreign trade and comprehensive functions, the CBZ is also proficient in developing bonded processing, logistics and services, and other businesses.
The value of imports and exports of China’s comprehensive bonded zones stood at 1.4 trillion yuan ($201.69 billion) during the first six months of this year, up 13.2 percent on a yearly basis, accounting for 9.97 percent of the nation’s total foreign trade volume, according to GAC data.
According to World Trade Organization estimates, global merchandise trade volume is likely to slump by around 18.5 percent on a yearly basis in the second quarter of this year.
Under these circumstances, China’s foreign trade has beaten market expectations in recent months. Total foreign trade volume rose 6.5 percent on a yearly basis in July, with exports and imports up 10.4 percent and 1.6 percent respectively.
With many economies seeking practical solutions to boost their job market, goods and service exports, China’s share of foreign trade is growing steadily, indicating the sector’s rising competitiveness and capacity to counter pressure, Ni said.
Customs authorities will further simplify clearance procedures and cut logistics costs to optimize the business environment at ports in the second half of this year, Ni said, adding the government will continue to improve the level of facilitation of Customs clearance at railway ports to serve the safe, stable and high-quality development of China-Europe freight train services.
Contemporary Amperex Technology Co Ltd, China’s leading automotive battery maker, began to build a new laboratory to develop next-generation batteries at its headquarters in Ningde, Fujian province, in late June.
About 3.3 billion yuan will be invested in the new facility. It is expected to attract about 1,000 researchers within five years and scheduled to be operational in the fourth quarter of 2021.