South China

The Nansha New Area Explained – Guangdong Free Trade Zone

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Nansha new areaBy Omar Khan
International Business Advisory
Dezan Shira & Associates

Found at the central divergence of the Pearl River Delta, the Nansha New Area is one of three pre-existing development zones that came together to form the current Guangdong Free Trade Zone. With various export shipping routes and financial hub Hong Kong within the vicinity, it is worthwhile exploring the various facets of the Nansha New Area.

In this article, we look at some of the features outlining this development zone including a basic overview, major services, and finally, the objectives and mandates that the Nansha New Area intends to accomplish. Not only does this area have great potential to serve businesses within its proximity, but also has future potential to render itself a focal point of the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road.


Only 38 and 41 nautical miles away from Hong Kong and Macau, respectively, the Nansha New Area is positioned to be Guangzhou’s (and Guangdong’s) main gateway to sea-based trade. A vital transportation hub linking the above locations enables it to connect the PRD region as a whole. The actual Nansha area has a resident population of 720,000 within its 803 square kilometer space, with 60 square kilometers a part of the Guangdong Free Trade Zone. Nansha developed well in 2014 – area-wide GDP exceeded RMB 100 billion; industrial output value above designated scale reached RMB 270.6 billion, and the industrial output value of 50 key industrial enterprises grew by 14.53 percent.

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Zhongshan: China’s Upgrading Manufacturing Base

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Zhongshan city mapBy Rainy Yao

China’s Zhongshan city, named after the nation’s famous revolutionary and political leader Dr. Sun Yat-sen (Sun Zhongshan), is located in the southern part of Guangdong Province and a stone’s throw away from Macau and Hong Kong. Given its geographic advantage, the city serves as an international trading hub and one of the biggest manufacturing bases in China. Though being a small prefecture-level city in Guangdong, Zhongshan’s economy ranks fifth in the province and its industrial production growth has ranked first in the Pearl River Delta for three years in a row.

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A Closer Look at China’s Free Trade Zones – Part I

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China Free Trade ZonesBy Steven Elsinga

When the Shanghai Free Trade Zone (FTZ) was first introduced in 2013, it was presented as a testing ground for new reforms. Where proven successful, these would be expanded across the entire country. In this way, we have seen the easing of restrictions on foreign currency exchange and foreign participation in China’s e-commerce sector – both originally FTZ pilot schemes – implemented nationwide.

Other key aspects include the negative list, which states exhaustively in which sectors foreign investment is restricted; and the faster company registration process. Both concepts are gradually being implemented across the rest of China.

Many major cities are now conducting trial programs where company registration can be completed online or only require a visit to one location, or where the business license now also covers tax registration and the enterprise code. The Foreign Investment Law, of which the first draft was made available for public comment in January 2015, would take the concept of a negative list for foreign investment nationwide. As of yet, there is however no news on the progress of the Foreign Investment Law. Continue reading…

The Shanghai and Guangdong Free Trade Zones: A Comparison

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CB 2014 09_Revisiting the Shanghai Free Trade ZoneBy Elizabeth Leclaire and Rainy Yao

Closely mirroring the structural and legislative policies of the Shanghai Free Trade Zone (FTZ), the Guangdong Free Trade Zone  was launched in April of this year, along with two other FTZs in Tianjin and Fujian. With Shanghai as the nation’s de facto financial center and Guangdong as one of the world’s major manufacturing and trading centers, both the Shanghai FTZ and Guangdong FTZ have caught the attention of foreign investors seeking to enter a more liberalized Chinese market. While the Shanghai FTZ and Guangdong FTZ are regulated by similar policies, important distinctions exist between the two zones, and foreign investors must be careful to select the location best suited for business needs. Continue reading…

Offshore Status of Hong Kong Companies

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By Stephen O’Regan 
International Business Advisory, Dezan Shira & Associates

Hong Kong is often seen as a favorable business location, due to its low tax rates, easier access to the Asian market, as well as a relatively stress-free establishment procedure. The region’s stable political environment and excellent finance and banking services also provide investors with a better business environment. Moreover, there are no exchange controls in Hong Kong. A Hong Kong company may do business anywhere in the world and there is no requirement for the Directors and Shareholders to be residents in Hong Kong. The last benefit leads us to the consideration of the region’s stance on the offshore status of Hong Kong companies. There is no offshore status regulation in Hong Kong per se. Continue reading…

The New Free Trade Zones Explained, Part IV: Fujian

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Fujian Free Trade ZoneBy Dezan Shira & Associates
Editor: Rainy Yao

Following the opening of the Shanghai Free Trade Zone (FTZ), China recently launched three new FTZs in Guangdong, Tianjin and Fujian, along with the release of the Negative List for Foreign Investment applicable to the four FTZs.

In this last part of the Free Trade Zone series, we concentrate on the Fujian FTZ, which mainly aims to strengthen the province’s cooperation and economic ties with Taiwan and further open up its financial sector for foreign investment. The beneficial policies that stimulate integration with Taiwan offer interesting opportunities for foreign investors that also have a presence there.

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Hong Kong’s Business Environment & Costs Compared with Singapore

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China-SG-HKOp/Ed by Chris Devonshire-Ellis

Part Seven in our series comparing ASEAN business costs with China

Singapore is the de facto financial and services hub for ASEAN, and as a city state with such a remit it is more pertinent to compare the dynamics of Singapore with Hong Kong rather than China as a whole. The two cities compete with each other – yet how do they stack up when compared? 

In fact, since Hong Kong’s return to mainland China in 1997, its positioning as a services hub has retrenched from Asia to being almost exclusively the gateway to mainland China, and a bridge between China and Taiwan. Singapore meanwhile has forged ahead with its ASEAN ties, and has become a regional hub for the bloc, meaning that today a clear distinction can be drawn between the markets they serve. Although a little simplistic, the general rule of thumb that Hong Kong services the mainland, and Singapore ASEAN, contains much truth, and particularly so when one realizes that Hong Kong is not included in the China-ASEAN Free Trade Agreement although negotiations are now underwayContinue reading…

Hong Kong Announces Enhancement Measures for Immigration Policy

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Dec mag imageBy Stephen O’Regan 
International Business Advisory
Dezan Shira & Associates

Hong Kong is now facing the same ageing population crises as Mainland China. It is estimated that by 2040, about one in three Hong Kong residents will be over the age of 65. In order to help alleviate concerns about this, the Immigration Department has recently announced that a set of new enhanced measures to its immigration policy will be implemented by the second quarter of 2015. Essentially, these new measures are expected to build up “human capital” in Hong Kong by supporting the local workforce with foreign professionals and talents.

The new measures include:

  • A relaxation and adjustment of the policies for migrants under the Quality Migrant Admission Scheme (QMAS) in order to attract more foreign talents with international work experience or third or fourth level education;
  • A relaxation and adjustment of the policies for migrants under the General Employment Policy (GEP)/Admission Scheme for Mainland Talents and Professionals (ASMTP) in order to smooth and streamline the entry and stay of such foreign talents. Further, the measures clarify several issues relevant to foreign investment in this policy; and
  • An introduction of a pilot scheme directed at second generation overseas Chinese/Hong Kong citizens in order to entice them to return to Hong Kong and seek employment.

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