Harbin applies for creation of China-Russia free-trade zone

Authorities of Harbin (China) have confirmed their wish to make this city a center of cooperation with Russia and to create a free-trade zone, Zhang Chunjiao, head of the Heilongjiang province Applied Economy Association, has told Interfax.

Authorities of Harbin (China) have confirmed their wish to make this city a center of cooperation with Russia and to create a free-trade zone, Zhang Chunjiao, head of the Heilongjiang province Applied Economy Association, has told Interfax.

"Harbin has applied for the creation of a China-Russia free trade zone. This zone will attract investment through preferential rates and partial exemption from customs duties," Zhang said, referring to the 12th Committee of the Harbin People's Political Consultative Conference.

The zone will provide Harbin with "seven priorities" Chinese authorities have granted to similar zones in Shanghai and Xinjiang. Project initiators are expecting a 30% decline in prices of Russian resources, Siberian salmon and vodka.

The city is accelerating the creation of a multi-level, broad-field transborder structure aimed at boosting collaboration with Russia. It will build China's biggest center for the sending of post packages to Russia and will step up construction of a logistic techno-park this year, the association head said.

China operates over 120 free-trade zones enjoying special tax and customs regimes. They are predominantly located on the eastern coast and connected to ports. These zones focus on import-export operations and processing of resources. The first zone of this kind was created in Shanghai in 1990.

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