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The New Free Trade Zones Explained, Part I: Guangdong

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705px-China_Guangdong.svgBy Rainy Yao

On April 20, the policy frameworks for the Tianjin, Guangdong and Fujian Free Trade Zones (FTZs) were officially published by the State Council, along with an updated Negative List, which details prohibited or restricted industries for foreign investment in all of the four existing FTZs in China, including the expanded Shanghai FTZ. The three FTZs were approved in December last year by Chinese Premier Li Keqiang.

Following this, China announced the expansion of the Shanghai FTZ earlier this year to include Lujiazui, the city’s financial district. In Part 1 of this series, we provide details of the Guangdong FTZ and explore the new investment opportunities brought by the new Free Trade Zone.

Continue reading…

The Automation of China’s Labor Force

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Roboscribe_KUKA_RoboticsBy Kelsey Ryan

The robotics industry is on the cusp of revolutionizing the way business is conducted in China; and the world. With China expected to have the most industrial robots operating in production plants worldwide by 2017, foreign investors should take note. China currently holds the title of the world’s largest market in the sale of industrial robotics, but lacks robotic density. Continue reading…

Zhuhai: An Emerging Force in South China

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Panorama of Guangzhou in daytime, Zhujiang New Town.By Rainy Yao

Located in the center of the Pearl River Delta (PRD), Zhuhai is one of China’s four original Special Economic Zones (SEZs) established in 1980. The city borders Macau to the south and is about one hour away from Guangzhou and Shenzhen by car. In the past three decades, Zhuhai has experienced strong economic growth due to its geographical proximity to Hong Kong and Macau, and is the only deep-water port on the western side of the Pearl River. In this article, we take a closer look at this emerging force in South China. Continue reading…

China Announces Three New Free Trade Zones in Tianjin, Guangdong and Fujian

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By Rainy Yao and Steven Elsinga

Chinese Premier Li Keqiang announced on December 12 that three more Free Trade Zones (FTZ) will be established in China, based on the model of the Shanghai FTZ, which was launched in September of last year.

The three new FTZs will be set up in Tianjin, Guangdong province and Fujian province. Each is to make full use of its geographic location and carry special local features. The announcement confirmed long speculation that a next wave of FTZs would be launched around the areas of the Pearl River Delta (Guangdong province),  Bohai Bay (Tianjin, Beijing and Hebei province) and Xiamen (Fujian province). Continue reading…

China Regulatory Brief: Injury Insurance in Guangzhou, Annual Inspections in Dongguan and Container Export Refunds

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China-Regulatory-BriefAustralia to be Exempted from China’s New Tariffs on Imported Coal

On October 22, Australia’s Treasurer Joe Hockey announced that Australian coal will be exempted from China’s new tariffs on imported coal based on the Free Trade Agreement (FTA) in negotiation between the two countries. On October 15, China restarted its levy of import tariffs on coal after nearly a decade of suspension, aiming to boost its domestic coal industry and curb carbon emissions. Australia, the largest exporter of coal to China, was severely threatened by this new policy and opened an urgent discussion with China last week to seek a reversal of the decision. During the meeting, the Chinese government urged Australia to relax restrictions on Chinese investment in return.

Guangzhou Releases Provisions on Work-related Injury Insurance

The Guangzhou municipal government recently released the “Provisions on Work-related Injury Insurance in Guangzhou (Hui Fu [2014] No.30),” which took effect on September 1, 2014 and will be valid for five years. According to the Provisions, work-related injury insurance premiums are to be levied based on a rate of between 0.5 percent and 1.5 percent of an employee’s gross wages in the previous year. Further, employees suffering a work-related injury will be able to apply for a paid recovery leave of no more than 12 months.  Continue reading…

Hong Kong’s Absorption into Mainland China

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“One country, two systems” is fast running out of special treatment favors

Apartment Block in Tai Po, Hong Kong, in cheaper area of the territory, near to border with Shenzhen. Cost of 750 sq. ft. apartment: HKD6.2 million. Mortgage payments per month (20 years) HKD22,000. Average salary of Hong Kong Office Administrator per month: HKD21,000.

 Op-Ed Commentary: Chris Devonshire-Ellis

On the afternoon of June 30th, 1997, I walked across the Shenzhen border at Louwu and into Hong Kong, taking the MTR straight into Central. There was nothing remarkable about the trip per se; I had completed it hundreds of times previously, with Dezan Shira & Associates offices already well established in both cities. Yet the date was of significance – it was the last day of Hong Kong being under British administration. At midnight, it would all return to China.

At that time there was doom and gloom. To many, China was still very much an unknown quantity. Fortune magazine had run a cover story, “The Death of Hong Kong” and two years previously, Jardines, the old British trading hong, and then the most powerful company in the territory, had redomiciled from Hong Kong to Bermuda, and thousands of Hong Kongers were acquiring secondary passports.

Today, the pressure is not so much directly about democracy, but the impact of decades of poor governance and neglecting the needs of Hong Kong’s population. This is manifesting itself in a desire to have a greater say, or at least be governed by leaders who can provide Hong Kong’s residents with a future and the ability to sustain themselves in their own city. The problem is that even this most basic of rights is being eroded. Continue reading…

Spotlight: Qianhai Shenzhen-Hong Kong Modern Service Industry Cooperation Zone

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Qianhai 230x300

Officially approved by China’s State Council on August 26, 2010, the Qianhai Shenzhen-Hong Kong Modern Service Industry Cooperation Zone (Qianhai) was established with the aim of serving as an experimental business zone for better interaction between Mainland China and Hong Kong in the financial, logistics, and IT services sectors. The zone, which is still in the process of setting up, covers 15 km² and provides various incentives and preferential finance policies for foreign investment. Continue reading…

Hong Kong Considers Easing Housing Market Restrictions

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HONG KONG – Secretary for Financial Services and the Treasury, Chan Ka-keung, has said that Hong Kong will consider easing measures implemented to check real estate speculation if U.S. interest rates begin to rise, but will not make any significant changes to the city’s policy in the meantime.

Quantitative easing in the U.S. has led to record low interest rates both in the U.S. and Hong Kong, whose currency is pegged to the U.S. dollar. The low cost of borrowing has caused the Hong Kong property market to experience an unprecedented boom, and property prices have more than doubled in the past five years. Continue reading…

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