The General Administration of Customs issued six measures to support the development of comprehensive bonded zones to ensure stable trade flows and foreign investment growth amid the novel coronavirus outbreak.

The GAC will support the country’s 18 pilot free trade zones, national-level new areas and economic development zones to set up comprehensive bonded zones, as well as accelerate the transformation of other types of special customs supervision areas such as upgrading bonded port areas into comprehensive bonded areas, said a statement unveiled by the administration on Tuesday.

The GAC will expand policy coverage by attracting more manufacturing and equipment maintenance companies to establish facilities within the comprehensive bonded zones to further diversify these areas’ developing strength, the document said.

The comprehensive bonded zone is a special customs supervision area established by the Chinese government with reference to the free trade zone (parks) that are commonly used internationally.

In addition to an abundance of preferential policies for foreign trade and comprehensive functions, the zone is also proficient in developing bonded processing, logistics and services, and other businesses.

The value of imports and exports of China’s comprehensive bonded zones amounted to 2.9 trillion yuan ($413.49 billion) in 2019, up 11.9 percent year-on-year, accounting for 9.2 percent of the nation’s total foreign trade volume, according to the GAC.

They have played a significant role in driving China’s opening-up and real economy, especially in serving the central and western regions to undertake industrial transfers and helping with the eastern region’s industrial upgrading.

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