April 27 marks the 7th anniversary of the inauguration of Qianhai Shekou Free Trade Zone, whose day-to-day changes are always fascinating. According to Authority of Qianhai Shenzhen-Hong Kong Modern Service Industry Cooperation Zone, in 2021, the number of Hong Kong-funded enterprises registered in Qianhai has increased by 156% year-on-year, and the actual use of Hong Kong capital accounts for 93.8% of the total foreign investments. Its Q1 2022 actual use of Hong Kong capital amounted to US$1.272bn, accounting for 92.97% of its foreign investments, a rise of 148.01%.
At the junctures of the global economic recovery, China continues to renew the layout of Qianhai, incorporating the development of Guangdong, Hong Kong and Macao. Institutional innovation turns to be the foundation for cultivating a first-class business environment in Qianhai, thus enticing many entrepreneurs from Hong Kong. Any sharp-eyed entrepreneur would lose no time in seizing the opportunities.
Xu Ziyan is among Hong Kong youth to start their business in Qianhai. This 90’s girl has just registered her company here, believing that Qianhai is the first choice for Hong Kongers to do business in Chinese mainland. Previously, she has visited Qianhai many times for feasibility study.
Located in the west of Shenzhen and on the east bank of the Pearl River Estuary, Qianhai has been designated a “special area of the Special Economic Zone” since the State Council approved the Overall Development Plan for Qianhai Shenzhen-Hong Kong Modern Service Industrial Cooperation Area of Shenzhen Special Economic Zone in 2010. Qianhai’s institutional innovation is “avant-garde” and its soft services and support are “awesome”. “Through various meetings, we can speak out our minds straight to the officials. Qianhai government can hear our voices directly,” exclaimed Xu Ziyan.
Xu’s company focuses on new media business, helping connect Hong Kong brands with the mainland through “live commerce”. “By means of the Qianhai platform, not only can we dock to the supply chain, but also to the enterprises in need, which saves us from troubles, kind of like ‘finding a needle in a haystack’,” she said.
As the outside world sees it, Qianhai Cooperation Area is unswervingly forging a “Qianhai model” with institutional innovation in investment, trade, finance and rule of law as its core, making it an important “source” to be drawn upon by other places of China.
Sun Lecheng, partner of KPMG Intelligent Innovation Space, points out that Qianhai has set far-reaching goals of institutional innovation in the rules, systems, mechanisms and models. Not only is the standard high, but also “practicable and solid”.
Qianhai is known to have been promoting institutional innovation in multiple sectors, including justice, finance, supply chain, integration of services and manufacturing industries, new technologies, new business models, and so on. For example, the Shenzhen-Hong Kong International Law Zone is opened; an International Talent Port created, a Multi-Country Consolidation (MCC) and Maritime Transit Hub and an Outbound Air Service Center set up, the Qianhai Shenzhen-Hong Kong International Financial City established, the World Intellectual Property Organization Technology and Innovation Support Center (WIPO-TISC) inaugurated, and the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao New R&D Institutions Support Program is being promoted.
Latest statistics show that, up to now, the Qianhai Shekou Free Trade Zone has launched 685 institutional innovations, and more than 80-billion-yuan (US$12.2bn) worth of goods are gathered from all over the world to Qianhai Comprehensive Bonded Zone and then transshipped worldwide.
Source: Authority of Qianhai Shenzhen-Hong Kong Modern Service Industry Cooperation Zone