(Yicai Global) May 23 -- Two Chinese inland provinces of Sichuan and Shaanxi as well as the southwestern municipality of Chongqing have proposed expansions to their free trade zones, after the southern island province of Hainan received the go-ahead to rebrand itself as a province-wide free trade port in April.
A free trade zone in China's southwest Sichuan aims to further develop transport channels to enable seamless coordination between aviation, railway, and waterways, according to a spokesperson for the areas. Two of the three FTZs are in Chengdu, the province's capital.
Chongqing has also proposed that the central government allow an expansion of its existing FTZ, while Shaanxi provincial government has expressed interest in building a free trade zone called the Airport New City, located in the Xi'an Xianyang International Airport. It could become the largest air trade logistics facility in western China.
China's southernmost Hainan province, which covers about 35,000 square kilometers and has a population of about 9.3 million people, was chosen as the country's first province-wide free trade port in April. It plans to develop services related to the tourism, internet, healthcare, financing and exhibition sectors.
According to a document released by the central government, significant progress will be made in the construction of Hainan's pilot free-trade zone and its international openness will improve significantly by 2020.
Shanghai became the first mainland city to establish a pilot free trade zone in 2013, combining three separate bonded areas with a total land area of about 29 square kilometers.
Editors: Emmi Laine, William Clegg