Institutional innovation enhances Hengqin's competitiveness
2015-April-2 Source: China.org.cn
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"We are working to promote institutional innovation in Hengqin and establishing a closer relationship with Macau to create an open and market-oriented business environment based on laws and regulations," stated Jiang Ling, Mayor of Zhuhai and a deputy to the National People's Congress. Jiang also pointed out that the Hengqin Free Trade Zone won't be exclusively beneficial to the rich but will be open to all in the future.

Hengqin plans to strengthen its business connections with Portuguese speaking countries via Macau, and it is endeavoring to negotiate the establishment of an international e-business and cooperative platform with South American countries. "I firmly believe an international metropolis will be formed when the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macau Bridge is completed," said Jiang. "In this way, the Hengqin FTZ will be of great significance due to its favorable location," he continued.

"Institutional innovation can be appealing to enterprises, and I regard it as one of our advantages compared to other FTZs. Though each zone develops in a different direction on the basis of its location, conditions and goals, all FTZs are supposed to provide convenient and highly efficient services for investment and trade. At present, we are trying to alleviate the burdens on enterprises by simplifying procedures, paying more attention to the protection of intellectual property and creating an open, market-oriented environment based on laws and regulations," Jiang stated.

Due to its proximity to Macau, home prices in Hengqin have soared above 40,000 yuan per square meter in the last decade, almost twenty times higher than the average price in 2000. It is estimated that home prices may increase to 90,000 yuan in five years.

The State Council initiated the program to develop Hengqin in 2009. About 13.58 billion yuan (US$ 2.21 billion) has been spent on fundamental infrastructure on the island in the past five years. The area has seen great changes like brand-new roads, larger green spaces, the installation of streetlights and the construction of magnificent wind power plants.

The population of Hengqin is expected to rise from 7,000 before 2009 to 280,000 in 2020, part of which is comprised of citizens from Hong Kong and Macau. Time has brought great changes in people's lives and work. For instance, a resident named Ms. Zhou bought a house in Hengqin for 1000 yuan per square meter eight years ago, and now she is thrilled to know that the value of her house has increase twenty times. She is currently preparing to start her own business.

Nearly 30 percent of Macau citizens will choose to reside in Hengqin, according to the records of sales of apartment, offices and shops either currently for sale or under construction. Niu Jing, the director of the Hengqin New District Management Committee, believes that the dramatic increase in real estate prices will not continue in the long term.

 

Editor: Will
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