The China (Beijing) Pilot Free Trade Zone (Beijing FTZ) is set to emerge as a global tech innovation center, a pilot area with expanded opening-up of China’s service industry, a pilot area for a vibrant digital economy, and a singular platform for the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei coordinated development.
According to existing plans, the Beijing FTZ consists of three sections: a Tech Innovation Section of 31.85 km2, a Global Business Section of 48.34 km2(including the Tianzhu Free Trade Zone of 5.466 km2), and a High-end Industry Section of 39.49 km2; collectively an area of 119.68 km2.
The State Council released overall planning on Beijing, Hunan and Anhui FTZs and expansion of the Zhejiang FTZ on September 21, 2020. Shortly afterwards, the Tech Innovation Section of the Beijing FTZ was inaugurated on the 27th, while the Global Business Section and High-end Industry Section were inaugurated on the 28th.
Global Business Section
The Global Business Section of the Beijing FTZ will become an airport economy demonstration zone that prioritizes development of digital trade, culture trade, commercial exhibition, healthcare, global delivery, and cross-border financial services.
It will cover a total area of 48.34 km2, including 4.96 km2of the Beijing CBD, 2.96 km2of the Jinzhan Global Cooperation Service Zone, 10.87 km2of available area in the vicinity of the Yunhe Business Zone of the Beijing Sub-center and Zhangjiawan Design Town, and 28.5 km2of available area close to the Beijing Capital International Airport.
These areas are designated for a cluster of high-end service industries. With supplementary functional positioning, the Global Business Section enjoys a remarkable advantage in clustered development of industrial chains.
The Yunhe Business Zone, located in Beijing Sub-center, plays a key role in undertaking business-related functions from the Beijing CBD. Positioned for finance sector and headquarters development, it will become a comprehensive functional zone for finance innovation, internet business and the high-end service industry to support coordinated development of the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei region.
The Zhangjiawan Design Town, with close ties to the Sixth Ring-road Innovation-driven Development Axis of the Beijing Sub-center and the Ecological Belt of the Grand Canal, is home to about 100 high-end businesses in innovation design and urban technologies.
In view of the municipal planning, as the Beijing CBD gears up for further opening-up to the global finance service sector, the Jinzhan Global Cooperation Service Zone will serve as an international organization clustering zone, a service trade demonstration zone, a digital trade pilot zone, and a high-end cross-border consumption center.
The Capital International Airport and its surrounding areas, as a key component of the Global Business Section, will continue its development as a world-class aviation pivot, centralize directive innovation elements, and lead in system innovation and rule-setting for global trade.
High-end Industry Section
The High-end Industry Section covers a total land area of 39.94 km2, including 10.36 km2of available area west of Daxing International Airport and 27.83 km2of the Beijing Economic and Technological Development Area.
With unique strengths in global tech cooperation and cross-border tech transfer, the High-end Industry Section will facilitate transfer of tech outcomes in the Beijing FTZ, promote complete innovation-oriented industrial chains, and enhance the city's capacity in attracting and integrating global resources in innovation.
As the only district concurrently enjoying the FTZ policies of Beijing Municipality and Hubei Province, Daxing will seize the historic opportunities in FTZ development, make full play of its strength as a world-class pivot airport, and enable an innovation-driven digital economy pilot zone supported by coupling development of the airport economy zone and the FTZ and comprehensive bonded area at a time of system innovation and the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei coordinated development, with key focuses on digital service and trade sectors including cross-border e-commerce and digital health-care and intelligent logistics. The end result will be a world-leading system for cross-border e-commerce.
The Beijing Economic and Technological Development Area is entitled to a dual set of policies as a national-level development zone and a national high-tech industrial park. It is also a highland for high-end manufacturing and an innovation platform under the city's "three parks and one area" initiative. With high-end effective industrial layout and ecology featuring electronic information, bio-medicine, equipment manufacturing and automobile manufacturing, it enjoys special advantages in global tech cooperation and cross-border tech transfer.
Tech Innovation Section
The Tech Innovation Section, serving as a digital economy pilot zone, a global start-up investment center, and a tech system reform demonstration zone, will drive development of new-generation technology, biology and health, and tech services.
It covers a total area of 31.85 km2, including 21.59 km2in Zhongguancun Science Park and a 10.26 km2area in the vicinity of the Beijing Life Science Park. The part in Zhongguancun Science Park covers Cuihu Tech Park, Yongfeng Base and their neighboring area.
The host district - Haidian District - has specified that two key tasks, in addition to the Tech Innovation Section, will be prioritized. The first is to offer an enabling environment for digital economy development and stronger capacity in digital trade. The district will construct a global port on information industry and digital trade, offer dedicated paths for secure, fast transfer of global data, and enhance cooperation in cross-border data protection regulation. Rules for digital trade in line with China's conditions will be formulated with an eye on the leading international practices.
The second task will be to enhance protection of intellectual property rights. Haidian will launch tax policies to promote tech transfer, improve the intellectual property collateral system, entitle developers to take ownership or long-term use rights of tech outcomes tied to their affiliations, and introduce mechanisms on market empowerment, outcome assessment and profit-sharing.