Fujian is one of the pioneering provinces to implement the reform and opening up policy, thus foreign trade making a large share of its economy. A multi-level and three-dimensional opening up pattern has been put into place consisting of Special Economic Zones, coastal open cities, Economic and Technological Development Zones, Taiwanese Investment Zones, and Special Customs Supervision Zones like Export Processing Zones and Bonded Areas. Meanwhile, it is accelerating the development of China (Fujian) Pilot Free Trade Zone and the core area of the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road. In the past decade, Fujian has been enjoying a sound momentum in its export-oriented economy with remarkable achievement. In 2016, the total volume of foreign trade was close to RMB 1.04 trillion, putting Fujian in the front rank of its Chinese counterparts. Its export and import volume reached RMB 683.89 billion and RMB 351.27 billion respectively. The major industries in Fujian include mechanical and electrical products, high-tech products, and such traditional products as textiles, garments and shoes. Fujian has also been actively streamlining customs procedures, and improving services to facilitate foreign trade. The annual China International Fair for Investment and Trade (CIFIT), Cross-Straits Economic and Trade Fair, China Cross-straits Technology and Projects Fair all serve as important platforms for Fujian to maintain close contacts and economic connections with its domestic counterparts and other countries.
We are devoting great effort attracting investment and utilizing foreign capital. In 2016, the paid-in FDI topped USD 8.2 billion, standing out among the top investment destinations in China. In particular, the year-on-year growth of the electronic information industry was more than 40%. There are seventy-five Fortune 500 companies investing in Fujian on nearly 200 projects with aggregate investment of more than USD 20 billion, of which contractual investment worth over USD 6.3 billion.
With the development of the core area of the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road, outbound investments are growing at a faster pace. Up till the end of 2016, 2,043 companies and institutions have been registered on record for establishment in more than 110 countries and regions, ranking Fujian among the top in the Chinese mainland in this regard. Covering a wide range of fields, private companies have become a major force in our outbound investment.
Pilot Free Trade Zone
Officially launched in April 2015, China (Fujian) Pilot Free Trade Zone covers an area of 118.04 square kilometers and consists of three areas – Pingtan Area, Xiamen Area and Fuzhou Area. While focusing on cross-Straits cooperation and exchanges, the pilot FTZ is also ready to serve the whole nation and open wider to the world. In a bid to become the test field for institutional innovation, the demonstration zone for deepening cross-Straits economic cooperation and the development of the core area of the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road, the FTZ has been enlarging its economic flow and improving business environment. Up till the end of 2016, 48,550 companies were newly set up with a total registered capital of RMB 944.77 billion, and 2,187 foreign-invested companies filed for establishment with the contractual investment amounting to USD 14.28 billion.
Fujian is one of the first provinces to establish development zones in China. Covering an area of 771.6 square kilometers, it is home to 30 national-level development zones, comprising eight Economic & Technological Development Zones, seven Hi-Tech Industrial Development Zones, six Taiwanese Investment Zones, seven special zones under customs supervision, and two tourism resorts. And there are 72 provincial-level development zones, to be specific, 42 Economic & Technological Development Zones, one Hi-Tech Industrial Development Zone, and 29 industrial parks.
In 2015, all those development zones generated industrial output value of about RMB 2.12 trillion, the added value of RMB 547.86 billion, tax revenue of RMB 102.26 billion and fixed assets investment of RMB 534.34 billion, accounting for 51.5%, 51%, 21.1% and 24.7% of the industrial sector of the entire province respectively. The paid-in FDI reached USD 2.69 billion. Total volume of foreign trade topped USD 88.46 billion. And 2.88 million people are employed.
International Cultural Exchanges
Fujian is among the best in the country in terms of its international cultural products and service trade. In recent years, Fujian has maintained frequent cultural exchanges with the outside world. It has hosted several grand cultural activities such as the Southern Fujian Cultural Festival, the International Symposium on the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road, the Maritime Silk Road International Art Festival, and the 14th Asian Art Festival. Two Overseas Fijianese Cultural Centers were respectively set up in South Africa and the US. Dance drama “The Dream of the Maritime Silk Road” was staged in the UN Headquarters in New York, UNESCO Headquarters, EU Headquarters, Malaysia, Indonesia, and Singapore. Photos of the Maritime Silk Road were exhibited in the UN Headquarters in New York, the UK, Brazil, the Netherlands, Belgium, etc. Serial cultural events “Rhythm of Fujian” activities were held in Paris, France. In 2016, the Orchestra of Fujian Song and Dance Theater, Fujian Acrobatics and Puppet Troupe and Xiamen Art Troupe respectively went to Spain, Thailand, and New Zealand for “Happy Chinese New Year” celebration. “Fujian Culture Month” was launched in the Chinese Cultural Center in Madrid. Professor Zheng Xiaoying headed the symphony orchestra “Echoes of Hakka's Earth Buildings” to Australia for the celebration of the 35th anniversary of Fujian-Tasmania sister-province relationship.
International Friendship Cities
Ever since Fuzhou established the first international sister-city relation with Nagasaki, Japan in October 1980, Fujian has twinned with 90 provinces/cities in 36 countries including Australia, Japan, USA, Germany, France, Italy, Brazil, Indonesia, South Africa, Russia, etc, of which 23 are provincial-level sister relationships. The friendship provinces/cities relationship has become an important means for Fujian to make headway in its international exchanges and cooperation, thus helping us open wider to the outside world, strengthen ties with overseas partners, and promote economic and social development.