[photopress:industrial_zones__Tianjin_Dongjiang_Bonded_Harbor_Area.jpg,full,alignright]The first phase of Tianjin Dongjiang Bonded Harbor Area, China’s largest free trade harbor, came into operation on December 11. This is the bonded harbor area, which covers an area of 4 sq km. It includes warehouses, container terminals and processing and logistics zones, and involved an investment of RMB6.6 billion ($906.59 million).
The rest of the 6-sq-km area is under development and is due to be operational by 2010.
Xu Fu, a professor at the Tianjin-based Nankai University, said, ‘The harbor area is sort of an engine that could drive up the regional economy and business in Tianjin, especially the Tianjin Binhai New Area.’
In 1994, the Tianjin government proposed the idea of the Tianjin Binhai New Area, and the central government approved it as the nation’s third regional economy facilitator, after the Shenzhen Special Economic Zone and Pudong New District in Shanghai.
Tianjin Port is now China’s fourth-largest and the sixth-largest worldwide.
In 2006, it handled 258 million tons in cargo. It plans to increase its cargo and container handling capacity up to 400 million tons and 12 million standard containers, TEUs, by 2010.
Professor Xu Fu said, ‘In China, the idea of bonded harbor areas comes at an opportune time.’
Some experts believe that compared to tariff-free zones, bonded harbor areas provide higher quality and more cost-effective services to exporters and importers because harbor areas, as their name suggests, are built much closer to ports. They are also equipped with tariff-free logistics parks, export processing bases and commodity showrooms.
Source: China Daily