The New Free Trade Zones Explained, Part IV: Fujian

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.

Geographic Scope

The Fujian FTZ covers an area of 118.04 square kilometers and consists of the three following, pre-existing development zones:

  • Pingtan Area (43 square kilometers)
    Major industries: tourism, trade and investment
  • Xiamen (43,78 square kilometers, including Xiangyu Bonded Zone and Xiamen Haicang Bonded Port)
    Major focus: China-Taiwan regional financial services and regional aviation
  • Fuzhou (31.26 square kilometers, including Fuzhou Bonded Zone, Export Processing Zone and Fuzhou Bonded Port)
    Major industries: advanced manufacturing, aviation and professional services
Simplified Establishment and Customs Clearance Procedures

The Fujian FTZ will be the first one to implement the “one-form application” system, which allows enterprises to simply fill in an application form online to set up a company. All the investor then has to do is pick up the business license. This is a very significant streamlining of the company set-up process.

The zone will implement simplified customs clearance procedures exclusively for goods imported from and produced in Taiwan. The pre-entry customs inspection and quarantine for imported goods from Taiwan will be cancelled, except for prohibited and restricted goods including dangerous chemicals. The import approval procedures will be simplified for Taiwanese-made health products, cosmetics, medical devices and Chinese traditional medicine. Further, motor vehicles with Taiwanese license plates may enter Pingtan freely with a temporary license plate, issued by local police.

Investment and Trade Liberalization between China and Taiwan

Taiwanese investors are allowed to engage in crop selection and production of crop seeds (except GM products) with a Chinese controlling party. This industry is otherwise listed as prohibited on the FTZ Negative List.

  • Taiwanese service providers are allowed to set up joint ventures (JV) or wholly foreign-owned enterprises (WFOEs) to carry out offshore call center businesses and provide telecom services.
  • Taiwanese investors may set up WFOE sailor dispatch institutions in the FTZ and provide sailor dispatch services to commercial ships owned by Taiwanese, without the establishment of a shipping management enterprise.
  • Taiwanese-invested JV travel agencies (capped at a number of three) are now allowed to provide Taiwan group travel services for Fujian residents; Taiwanese tour guides who have lived in the FTZ for over one year will be allowed to take the Chinese tour guide exam and work in China.
  • Taiwanese construction  WFOEs are encouraged to undertake construction projects in Fujian province.
  • Eligible Taiwanese accountants are allowed to establish intermediary agencies to provide bookkeeping services.
  • Eligible Taiwanese investors may provide online data processing and transaction processing services (e-commerce business only) in the FTZ. 
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