As recent trade data has shown, Dongguan’s relative resilience in the midst of the US-China trade war has been intriguing. One key reason for it has emerged: the creation of special new zones for duty-free trade processing, known as bonded-logistics and cross-border e-commerce zones.
Last year, bonded-logistic zones handled RMB217.5 billion in trade, up 17.7% compared with 2017. The rising star, however, was cross-border e-commerce, which saw RMB37 billion of trade processed, up 133%, ranking it first in the country. Dongguan now has 10 cross-border e-commerce parks, offering a range of services to companies that set up there, including logistics support. They also have a number of incubators for start-up companies.
These are not zones with barbed-wire fences. A prime example is the Humen Port Integrated Bonded Zone. Although only officially upgraded from a “bonded logistics center” last October, the zone handled 241,000 imported packages during the first four months of this year, reaching 83% of the total recorded the whole of last year.
Dongguan has consistently ranked in the country’s top 10 trading municipalities. Today it is fifth for overall trade volumes, fourth in exports and third in “foreign trade competitiveness”, according to local media. The government is also setting up funds and issuing policies to develop an industrial cluster of e-commerce, including building a well-rounded supply chain, establishing a B2B supervision system and providing funds for enterprises to set up overseas storage bases.
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