The Kashi Area of the China (Xinjiang) Pilot Free Trade Zone (FTZ), was unveiled on Saturday in Northwest China's Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region. The first 35 enterprises are settling in, with contracted project funds of more than 17.6 billion yuan ($2.4 billion).
Among the 35 enterprises, 30 have contracted projects covering the fields of trade, logistics, electronics and information technology, new materials, automobile parts processing and other key industries.
The Kashi area, which covers 28.48 square kilometers, is part of the newly founded 179.66-square-kilometer Xinjiang pilot FTZ, which consists of three major areas - Kashi Prefecture, the regional capital Urumqi and Khorgas city.
The Kashi area will focus on the development of labor-intensive industries, such as the deep processing of agricultural and sideline products, manufacturing textiles and garments, and assembling electronic products.
The establishment of the FTZ will facilitate textile and garment enterprises to settle in Kashi, as local administrations have attached great importance to investment and the active support of enterprises, Yang Caiping, CEO of a Zhejiang-based trade enterprise that has settled in the Kashi FTZ, told the Global Times on Sunday.
The company signed documents for a project - Central Asia International Manufacturing and Trade Industrial Park ¬- with the Kashi FTZ, and it plans to invest 1 billion yuan to integrate the production of daily necessities, textiles, clothing and accessories in China, and establish a supporting textile city in Kyrgyzstan to improve cross-border industrial and trade links.
"In the industrial park in Kashi, we will import cotton yarn from Central Asian countries and process it into fabrics and then export textile products to Kyrgyzstan," Yang said.
Kyrgyzstan has a well-developed textile industry, but the country lacks good quality fabrics, Yang noted.
In addition to the industrial park project, the Kashi FTZ has introduced projects including a carbon-neutral intelligent logistics port, an industrial park for new materials, a power lithium-ion battery factory and a cold chain base.
Close to Kyrgyzstan, the prefecture of Kashi has been rapidly developing foreign trade. Foreign trade in the region reached 61.04 billion yuan in the first three quarters of 2023, up 89.7 percent year-on-year, customs data showed.
"It is very convenient for Kyrgyz businessmen and enterprises to come to Kashi to stock up. The establishment of the FTZ will greatly facilitate business and trade between China and Kyrgyzstan," Yang said.
The China (Xinjiang) Pilot FTZ was officially established on November 1. As the country's first FTZ in its northwest border region, the Xinjiang pilot FTZ is expected to attract domestic and foreign participation, bridging China and Eurasian countries.