Asia's New Economic Hub in South China: Hengqin Free Trade Zone

Hengqin, known as the "Pearl of Guangdong", is China's third national-level new area and China’s only national new area of “One Island, Two Systems.” Situated in southeast Zhuhai in Guangdong Province, the Hengqin Free Trade Zone (FTZ) is only 34 nautical miles from Hong Kong and merely 187 meters (205 yd) apart from Macao. The opening of the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macao Bridge makes Hengqin the only pilot free trade zone directly connected to Hong Kong and Macao by road. The total area of the island is 106.46 square kilometers, which is equivalent to three times the size of Macau.

With the natural geographical advantage, Hengqin offers unique policy awarded to new economic zone in China, such as valet services on taxation, finance, industry and IT, as well as a headquarters economy more preferential than those in a special economic zone. Hengqin is differently a pilot zone of system and mechanisms to bring together the best practices of Hong Kong, Macao, and the Chinese mainland.

Development Goals

Hengqin City Planning

The whole island of Hengqin is divided into "three areas and ten districts", including business services, scientific and educational research and development, leisure travel films, and seven major industries (business services, financial services, leisure and tourism, high-tech, scientific and educational research and development, traditional Chinese medicine and health care, and cultural creativity).

  • Business service: business service industry, financial service industry, port business circle, international talent residential area

  • Science and education research and development: logistics and commerce industry, cultural and creative industry, medicine and science and education research and development industry, central supporting residential area

  • Leisure travel: tourism and leisure industry

Preferential Policies

  • Customs clearance policy - 24-hour customs clearance at the port, free entry of Macau from Hengqin

  • Corporate fiscal and taxation policy – corporate income tax is levied at 15% for enterprises registered in Hengqin. At the same time, it stipulates that goods related to production are tax-exempt or bonded

  • Financial support - establishment of the Pearl River Delta financial sub-center; a multi-currency trust fund pilot; corporate cross-border RMB settlement; foreign currency and RMB offshore business; trust institutions; innovate SME financing models; corporate issuance

  • Industrial informatization policy - allowing foreign-funded training institutions to enter Hengqin, Guangdong, Hong Kong, and Macao using electronic certificates

  • Talent attraction policy - focus on flexible tax incentives for young talents from Hong Kong and Macao. Residents from the two cities who work in Hengqin can enjoy the same personal income tax as Hong Kong and Macao

  • The first-to-be-tested legal system policy - in line with international, Hong Kong and Macao legal systems and business and trade standards

Industrial Plans

  • Business services: utilize international standard districts to attract capital-intensive and high value-added industries such as corporate management services, legal services and professional intermediary services

  • Financial services: deregulate to achieve financial liberalization, attract foreign banks and foreign capital financial service institutions to settle in, lay the foundation for the construction of RMB offshore windows

  • Cultural creativity: promote cultural exchanges between Guangdong, Hong Kong and Macao, and combine the characteristics of the financial and taxation policies of the new area to create an "International Cultural Trade Headquarters Base" that integrates tourism, technology, finance and other industrial chains

  • Leisure tourism: take advantage of the international-level high-end tourism resources, combine the advantages of Hengqin's geographic resources to develop the tourism industry

  • Advanced technology: focus on the development of electronic information, biomedicine, new energy, environmental protection, aviation manufacturing and other industries that are originated in Hong Kong and Macao under the CEPA agreement and enjoy tax exemption policies

  • Research and development of science and education: strive to become an ecological high-tech industrial base with strong independent innovation and technological transformation capabilities