The Financial Times ranks Dalian Free Trade Zone as Best in Asia and 3rd Globally

2021.10.23 22:48

Foreign Direct Investment (fDi) Intelligence, a service from the Financial Times, released their global ranking of Free Trade Zones (FTZ).  Dalian FTZ received awards and honorable mentions throughout.

While introducing the awards, host Jacopo Dettoni, editor of FDi Intelligence announced, “Those zones that have set the benchmark for best practices during the pandemic will thrive and show a path to success for other zones to follow.”


Below you can read about the Dalian FTZ’s awards and honorable mentions as well as reports given by fDi Intelligence.  Read the whole report here (see pdf link at bottom of fDi's website)

Source: fDi Intelligence

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TOP 10 GLOBAL FREE TRADE ZONE OF THE YEAR: DALIAN FTZ IS IN THIRD PLACE

BEST FREE TRADE ZONE (ASIA PACIFIC) WINNER: DALIAN FTZ

“The Dalian Free Trade Zone in the Liaoning peninsula — the biggest zone in northern China and the zone with the highest number of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) among all the participating zones, with more than 27,000 SMEs active within its territory at the end of 2020 — won as the best zone in the Asia-Pacific region. Chinese zones have been test beds for policy reforms and industrial innovation since the introduction of the first zones in the 1980s, and the Dalian Free Trade Zone continues to uphold this tradition. Following the introduction of the country’s 2060 zero-emission targets in 2020, the zone has drawn up its own zero-emission strategy centred around hydrogen, wind power and building-integrated photovoltaics (BIPV). A dedicated hydrogen industrial park is now being developed, while the zone management launched a BIPV initiative with state-owned China Energy to transform buildings and plants across its territory into BIPV, energy efficient properties. The zone has also become instrumental to Beijing’s ‘dual circulation’ strategy aimed at reorienting industrial production towards the domestic market. As its survey entry reads, it helped Chinese Haier Group enter the “dual circulation” strategy, and by doing so Haier Dalian achieved a 37% increase in refrigerators output—reaching 820,000 units in 2020 alone, despite the pandemic. The zone is also in the middle of a big infrastructure push. It upgraded its three bonded zones, it opened the Dalian Free Trade Zone International Expo Centre in May 2021 and is gearing up to reap the logistics benefits from the adjacent $4bn Dalian New Airport, which is currently under construction and is scheduled to come online in 2025.” [fDi Intelligence: Global Free Zones of the Year 2021, page 9]

BEST FREE TRADE ZONES FOR SME (GLOBAL)

Dalian FTZ was highly commended.


“The Dalian Free Trade Zone (FTZ) has been highly commended for small and medium-sized enterprise (SME) tenants. Among the zones participating in the awards, the Dalian FTZ declared the highest number of SMEs, which has almost doubled since the 2018 iteration of the fDi’s Global Free Zones of the Year awards. The quick rise in the number of SMEs active in the zone also mirrors the measure taken by the national government to design the Dalian FTZ as one of the country’s first cross-border e-commerce comprehensive pilot areas, which introduced support and incentives to stimulate e-commerce SMEs to locate and growth from within in the zone.” [fDi Intelligence: Global Free Zones of the Year 2021, page 13]

BEST FREE TRADE ZONES FOR LARGE TENANTS (ASIA PACIFIC): 

Dalian FTZ was highly commended.


“Dalian Free Trade Zone has been highly commended for large tenants among zones in Asia-Pacific in fDi’s Global Free Zones of the Year awards 2021. The Japanese powerhouses Toyota and Panasonic established a local joint venture, Prime Planet Energy & Solutions, in 2020 to develop state-of-the-art electric vehicle batteries, which will be manufactured in the zone’s $400m Prime Planet Dalian Plants. The world’s third-largest semiconductor manufacturer, SK Hynix, also became a new tenant in 2020 after acquiring Intel’s $2.5bn facilities in the zone. The zone has thus continued to leverage its existing ties with Japanese and Korean investors that trace back to its geological advantages, industrial history and abundant Japanese and Korean speaking talents.” [fDi Intelligence: Global Free Zones of the Year 2021, page 16]

EXCELLENCE AWARDS FOR INFRASTRUCTURE INVESTMENT (GLOBAL)

Dalian FTZ was highly commended.


“China’s Dalian Free Trade Zone has been highly commended for its infrastructure investment. In April 2021, the three bonded zones in the zone were upgraded to comprehensive bonded zones, China’s highest bonded zone tier. The bonded zones have undergone a complete renovation with state-of-the-art infrastructures, including a blind-spot-free security system, non-interference security inspection facilities and a seamless sea rail logistic network. In May 2021, the Dalian Free Trade Zone International Expo Center was opened for the first time. This Rmb 600m ($92.5m) project is the newest expo centre in northern China. Additionally, the Dalian New Airport, 30 minutes away from the zone, is currently under construction. The new airport will cost Rmb26.3bn ($4bn) and is estimated to open in 2025.” [fDi Intelligence: Global Free Zones of the Year 2021, page 22]

HONOURABLE MENTIONS

“China’s Dalian Free Trade Zone, for aquaculture: Alex Irwin-Hunt: ‘Norwegian aquaculture specialist Morenot Dalian Dykorn is set to invest $5m into a new automatic logistics warehouse at its existing operations, building upon Dalian’s ocean-oriented development strategy.’” [fDi Intelligence: Global Free Zones of the Year 2021, page 24]