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August 13, 2009

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Waigaoqiao plans trade increase

WAIGAOQIAO Free Trade Zone, China's earliest and economically strongest bonded area, plans to increase its share of Shanghai's trade to 30 percent in two or three years from the current 20 percent.

The zone's final goal is to become a trade hub in East Asia and the world by 2020, facilitating the city's ambition of becoming a global financial and shipping center.

The Shanghai government yesterday granted Waigaoqiao a "model area" for trade, encouraging it to provide more streamlined services to traders and to upgrade the zone's hardware construction.

"Waigaoqiao is an important window to showcase Shanghai's commitment to becoming a global trade center," said Sha Hailin, director of the Shanghai Commission of Commerce. "We expect Waigaoqiao to play a bigger role in boosting the city's trade," he added.

Established in 1990 in Pudong New Area, Waigaoqiao has grown into a relatively mature bonded area in terms of administration and services.

It has been home to more than 5,000 trading companies and has frequent business with 192 countries and regions.

Trade volume was US$62.6 billion in the zone last year with imports representing US$46.8 billion of the total. Imports accounted for 30.7 percent of the city's total. Waigaoqiao's trade volume accounted for nearly half of the total in the country's bonded areas.


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