Officially launched in 2015, Qianhai-Shekou Area of China (Guangdong) Pilot Free Trade Zone targets to be an experimental window to the world for China’s financial industry and a significant base for global service trade and an international hub port.
According to plan, Qianhai will look much more like Manhattan: a global financial center, dense with skyscrapers and shopping malls and grassy parks, all woven together by top-notch infrastructure. Officials of the national-level zone envision that it will have a resident population of 150,000 and a working population of 650,000 plying their trade in finance, modern logistics, information services, technology and other professional services.
Shenzhen Qianhai will be within a one-hour commuting radius of the Pearl River Delta and within a 30-minute commuting radius of Hong Kong upon completion of railways and roads by 2020.
A suite of preferential policies, plus huge government investment totaling nearly RMB 400 billion (US$65 billion) will foster a booming financial and business hub generating some US$25 billion (RMB 150 billion) in annual GDP. More fundamentally, Qianhai will promote greater integration between the mainland and Hong Kong, and will serve as a laboratory for bold financial and economic reforms as China seeks to internationalize its currency and gradually open its capital account.