South China’s Gaolan Port Economic Development Zone Promoted to NETDZ

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Apr. 10 – In late March, China’s State Council approved the promotion of the Gaolan Port Economic Development Zone to become the first national economic and technology development zone (NETDZ) on the west bank of the Pearl River Delta. The newly-promoted zone has been named the “Zhuhai Economic and Technological Development Zone.”

Gaolan is roughly 83 kilometers away from Hong Kong, 42 kilometers from Macao, 150 kilometers from Guangzhou, and 180 kilometers from Shenzhen. The 380-square-kilometer Gaolan Port Economic Development Zone was established in 2006 by the government, with the municipal-level administrative authorities and independent financial management power. It is one of the most important large-scale comprehensive harbor industry zones of South China, with a focus on the equipment manufacturing, petrochemical and energy industries.

The direction of the development of the new Zhuhai Economic and Technological Development Zone is clearly defined in the official approval letter from the State Council as “three equal stresses, two dedications, one promotion” and “two musts.”

“Three equal stresses”
The new zone will lay equal stress on the following three areas:

  • Developing the modern manufacturing industry and modern service industry
  • Taking advantage of both foreign direct investment and domestic investment
  • Balancing economic development and a harmonious society

“Two dedications”
The new zone will be dedicated to improving the quality and level of services and enhancing the vitality of the institutional mechanism.

“One promotion”
The new zone is expected to serve as an example, promoting transitions to multi-functional and more integrated economic and technological development zones.

“Two musts”
Lastly, the new zone must strictly follow the overall land and urban planning. Specific land use must go through a prescribed procedure according to relevant regulations and real estate development will be prohibited.

Up until now, there are 33 key projects already built or under construction in the zone, with a total investment of RMB150 billion. In 2011, the Gaolan Port Economic Development Zone contributed roughly RMB20.6 billion to the regional GDP. Its gross industrial output value reached RMB63.2 billion, with nearly RMB17 billion in industrial added value. Total investment in fixed assets totaled nearly RMB10 billion in the year 2011 and the total foreign trade volume hit US$8.6 billion. The port handles 7.17 million tons of cargo each year.

Dezan Shira & Associates is a boutique professional services firm providing foreign direct investment business advisory, tax, accounting, payroll and due diligence services for multinational clients in China, Hong Kong, India, Singapore and Vietnam. For further information, please visit the firm’s web site, E-mail, or download their brochure here.

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