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Shandong speeds up cooperation with South Korea

2015/9/17 13:11:12   source:sdchina.com

  The signing of the China-Korea FTA will trigger tremendous changes across China. Shandong province, boasting unique geographical advantages is expecting dramatic changes.

  A delegation consisting of more than 50 reporters and bloggers will visit Jinan, Qingdao, Yantai and Weihai, where they will conduct a field interview and experience the influence of the China-Korea FTA on Shandong province.

  Taking advantage of the China-Korea FTA, Shandong tries to build an open economy

  On June 1, 2015, China and South Korea signed the China-Korea FTA in Seoul. Though the agreement has not come into effect, the historic opportunities it imply have inspired cities and provinces to take immediate action.

  The China-Korea FTA is so far the free trade area covering the most fields with the largest value of trade in China, which will greatly stimulate the bilateral trade. Experts predict that the China-Korea trade volume will exceed 400 billion dollars in five years.

  “Chinese products are available to every Korean people in their daily life and almost every Chinese people can also get access to Korean products”, Gao Hucheng, minister of the Ministry of Commerce, wrote in his article. He pointed out that the China-Korea FTA is not only of great significance to the economic development of both China and South Korea but plays an active role in the economic prosperity of the Asia-Pacific region or even the world.

  “The construction of the China-Korea FTA is of great practical meaning but also of profound historical significance. It will have dramatic impact on the economic integration and the economic development pattern”, said Zheng Guibin, director of the Development Research Center of Shandong Province. Tariff reduction, free trade, convenient investment and broadening of the cooperative space will inject new energy for the economic development of Shandong province. Shandong as an adjacent province facing South Korea across the sea, gets a head start in the China-Korea free trade area. Shandong sees new opportunity in the transformation and upgrading of the industrial structure and the construction of an open economy.

  Korean elements highlight the opening and development of Yantai city

  Yantai and South Korea have a close relationship since ancient times. 2600 years ago, Yantai already had commercial and cultural communication with the Korean Peninsula. Today, Yantai still keeps an absolute advantage in business exchange with South Korea. South Korea has become the largest trading partner, the largest foreign investor and the biggest source of foreign tourists of Yantai city. With close personnel exchanges, Korean elements have become the most prominent feature of Yantai city.

  A large number of Korean enterprises have developed vigorously in Yantai. Statistics provided by Yantai Municipal Commercial Affairs Bureau show that by the end of 2014, a total of 3551 projects were invested by Korean enterprises with a contract capital of 11.01 billion dollars and an actual use of 5.3 billion dollars. The investment involves fields of clothing, light industry, electronics, machinery, food, building materials, shipping and finance.

  Currently, o there are over 200 projects in Yantai each invested with more than ten million dollars by Korean enterprises. 18 world’s top 500 enterprises such as LG, DOOSAN, Pohang, Hyundai and DSSC have invested in Yantai. All these giants are located in the High-tech Development Zone of Yantai. In addition to the above 18 corporations, there are 432 more Korean-funded enterprises in Yantai High-tech Development Zone. Based on these Korean giants, Yantai has become the largest production base of excavator in China, a key manufacturing base of smart phone and an production and research center of auto and auto parts.

  Weihai elaborately cultivates the “test field” of the China-Korea FTA

  China-Korea FTA innovatively includes a term of local economic cooperation, specifying Weihai and Inchon free economic zones as the demonstration area of local economic cooperation. Weihai city became one of the “test fields” of the China-Korea FTA.

  Weihai, located on the east end of Shandong peninsula, facing South Korea across the sea, is the city closest to South Korea in China. Currently, there are more than 40,000 Korean people work and live in Weihai throughout the year.

  Weihai Korean Commodity Trading Center, neighboring Han Le Fang, the first Chinese Korean Culture Theme Park, is the place visitors could find the Korean elements. The Korean commercial pedestrian street, Korean culture and art museum, Korean performing plaza, Lotte culture square, night markets and Korean style street add Weihai with more Korean features.

  Weihai will build five Koran food and commodity trading centers, three of which have been opened to the public and one is seeking partners. In addition, Weihai is actively exploring innovative ways of service and opening up, with focus on e-commerce, outsourcing service, tourism, creative culture, health care and medical cosmetology.

  Based on the cooperation with Inchon free economic zone, Weihai is trying to build a mechanism and model that is reproducible and can be spread through Shandong province or even across the country.

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Sponsor:Information Office of Shandong Provincial People’s Government