(ATF) China on Thursday published measures to boost development of the pilot free-trade zone (FTZ) in Hubei Province amid efforts to revive the coronavirus-hit economy and maintain regular epidemic containment policies.
The move is aimed at stimulating the local market, fostering new economic growth and helping businesses resume work in the region, according to a document released by the Ministry of Commerce.
China will build national bases for foreign trade transformation and upgrade and will carry out pilot programs for retail imports of cross-border e-commerce in the FTZ, according to the document.
Efforts will be made to further facilitate foreign investment, help address challenges for foreign-funded enterprises in the FTZ and encourage multinationals to set up their global or regional headquarters in Hubei.
China also vowed to support relevant areas in the FTZ to improve supply chain systems for strategic emerging industries such as next-generation information technologies, high-end equipment manufacturing and new-energy vehicles.
READ MORE: Kaifeng eyes logistics hub status
China has scores of special trade and economic zones, many of them located near major sea ports, that offer regulatory and tax breaks to companies that locate within them. They are aimed at nurturing specific industries that the government deems worthy of development and will link into China’s Belt and Road Initiative, a regional infrastructure development plan.
A slew of new zones has been announced in recent months as cadres seek to rejuvenate an economy that has been ravaged by the coronavirus outbreak. Among the largest is the Hainan Free Trade zone in the southern island province, for which more than 435 billion yuan has been earmarked.