One hundred and two reforms and innovations and 101.9 billion yuan (US$15.77 billion) of registered companies' added value were achieved within a year at the China (Guangdong) Pilot Free Trade Zone Qianhai and Shekou Area of Shenzhen (Qianhai-Shekou FTZ), said Wang Jinxia, a spokesperson for the Qianhai-Shekou FTZ, during Tuesday's press conference.
The zone's one year anniversary falls on April 27.
As one of the frontrunners of pilot zones carrying out bold reforms in China, the zone claims that 23 financial, legal and institutional innovations were the first attempts on the mainland.
Wang said that since the cross-border RMB services started, RMB drawings totaled 34.1 billion yuan and 1 billion yuan worth of offshore RMB bonds were issued by Shenzhen Qianhai Financial Holdings in Hong Kong. Financial institutions such as Taiwan E.Sun Bank, Qianhai Equity Transaction Center and Qianhai Reinsurance Ltd. Liability Co. were set up.
Wang also said that by the end of March, 88,622 enterprises had registered in the free trade zone. Among them, 3,341 enterprises were from 55 countries and regions and 3,113 were owned by Hong Kong-funded companies.
The total registered capital reached 4,027.98 billion yuan and financial companies accounted for 51.85 percent of all enterprises.
Huang Baoyi, a Hong Kong-based journalist with Ta Kung Pao, said she paid close attention to the development of the Qianhai-Shekou FTZ and "the development of the area and the unique industries it fostered seem to have made fast progress."
Huang was among some 100 journalists who toured the global goods shopping center and Qianhai Youth Dream Factory.
Huang said she was impressed by the hard work of the entrepreneurs who start businesses in the zone.
According to the Qianhai authority, the number of startup companies that settled in the zone has reached 124. Most of the businesses are Internet-related.
Abraham Lam, a Hong Kong entrepreneur who brought his team to Qianhai in 2016, said he felt lucky to be selected.
"My project involves the Internet of Things and big data. We also make Internet-related products," Lam said. "When we were in Hong Kong, I found it impossible to find factories and it was tiresome to commute between Shenzhen, which provides a complete production chain, and Hong Kong.
"In Qianhai, they offer us free work space (for the first six months), free services and an excellent platform to find investors," he added.
Lam said his team hasn't received investment yet but he is confident because 60 other teams have received investment.
"We plan to provide world-class services to companies as we have an international arbitration court and 870 international arbiters, a law institution that works on international law research and application, simplified administrative procedures and visa procedures, well-designed apartments for talent, preferential polices and governmental subsidies for talent," Wang said.
The free trade zone will be developed into an international financial hub with global trade service and an international port, authorities say.