Still, Qianhai has broken even more than just the above bottlenecks.
Qianhai was officially established on Aug. 26, 2010. Two years later, President Xi Jinping’s first visit outside Beijing was to Qianhai on Dec. 7, stressing that Qianhai should be aware of its position, which is to rely on Hong Kong and offer support for the development of mainland cities, while building it into a Guangdong-Hong Kong cooperation zone and an innovation zone for the service industry.
To speed up the development of the zone, on April 27, 2015, Qianhai-Shekou Pilot Free Trade Area (Qianhai-Shekou FTA) of the Guangdong Pilot Free Trade Zone was founded. This year the pan-Qianhai concept that includes Qianhai, the downtown area of Bao’an District, and Shekou and Houhai of Nanshan District was proposed. The approaches all together have given Qianhai beneficial policy for institutional and other innovations.
For instance, three wholly Qianhai-owned companies were established for infrastructure and land development, financial innovation, investments and more. On Sept. 21, the Qianhai Authority signed a contract with China Merchants Group to build a joint exchange venture for lands, ports and public services and to co-develop lands and other projects, which was regarded as the first trial of its kind for governmental and corporate cooperation.
In September, the south lane of the Pingnan Railway that links Pinghu and Nantou and passes through the Qianhai area was partially removed, clearing space for project contractors to connect Qianhai with Nanshan District.
Recently, the Civil Aviation Administration of China Central and Southern Regional Administration lowered the height limit for Qianhai’s architecture in the Mawan area, which relaxed concerns over construction of super-high buildings on the relatively space-tight land.
As for financial innovation, in 2015, Shenzhen Qianhai Financial Holdings issued 1 billion yuan in offshore renminbi bonds, and in April, banks in Qianhai signed agreements of intent with Hong Kong enterprises to loan a total of 10.2 billion yuan, which helped the two-way flow of cross-border renminbi. In September, the Qianhai Authority signed an MOU with the Hong Kong Exchange to build a bulk commodity exchange platform in Qianhai. A month later, Qianhai Financial Holdings, one of the area’s three companies, inked a strategic contract with Shenzhen Metro Group to build a Shenzhen-Hong Kong fund town.
To help local enterprises go global, Qianhai held the first International Industrial Capacity Cooperation Forum & the 8th China Overseas Investment Fair in Beijing in October and will continue to hold the event in the future. On Monday, the Qianhai Authority concluded a contract with the team of the Global Risk Forum GRF Davos to co-organize the forum every other year.
In addition, Qianhai has introduced the Hong Kong jury system by hiring 13 jurors for the Qianhai Court and 88 Hong Kong arbitrators for its Shenzhen Court of International Arbitration.
Four years have passed since Xi encouraged people in Qianhai to bravely trial new ideas and be “the first to eat crabs” as the Shenzhen pioneers did 36 years ago. Although serving as an example for the nation is a heavy task, Qianhai has adopted 170 innovative measures and promises to break more bottlenecks on its road to becoming an international hub in southern China.