East China’s Jiangxi Province has mulled to open up further to boost high quality development in this inland province, amid the country’s new round of high-level opening up.

Last month, China’s State Council approved establishing an open economy pilot zone in Jiangxi, with its construction adhering to new development concepts, persisting in promoting high-quality development and focusing on supply-side structural reform.

The pilot zone should tap into regional cooperation potential, promote the free and efficient flow of resources, accelerate the construction of an open market layout, and explore a new development path that advances reform, development and innovation through opening up, according to a circular released by the State Council.

“The establishment of the pilot zone in Jiangxi is not only an essential step in China’s new round of high-level opening-up but an exploration for an old revolutionary base to achieve high-quality development,” said Zhang Heping, Director of the Provincial Development & Reform Commission.

Greater Integration, Opening Up

At Jiangxi Luxshare Intelligent Manufacture Co., Ltd., Apple’s major AirPods manufacturing factory in the world, 17 production lines have been operated at full capacity to fulfil global orders of tens of millions of products.

The Company was established in Ji’an city in 2015 as its parent company, which is located in China’s tech hub Shenzhen in Guangdong Province, decided to transfer and expand its production base.

In less than five years, the company has developed into the leading processing trade enterprise in Jiangxi, with an annual output totalling 30 billion yuan (about 4.2 billion U.S. dollars).

As an inland province adjacent to the most vigorous economic regions, including the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area in the south and Yangtze River Delta Region in the east, Jiangxi is endowed with a natural advantage in luring factories moving out of the coastal areas where labour and land costs are high.

Ganzhou Port, a land-way port in the province, has launched freight trains connecting 26 cities in 11 countries along the Belt and Road and has seen major global shipping and domestic logistics companies settled, with cargo shipping to Europe and other parts of Asia through land-sea freight services.

In the first quarter of the year, Jiangxi saw its foreign trade volume rise 15.7 percent year on year to 86.2 billion yuan, largely supported by its electronic information industry, as the COVID-19 epidemic has hindered global demands and disrupted industrial chains.

The electronic information industry has driven up the province’s foreign trade growth by 20.2 percentage points. The province’s trade with countries along the Belt and Road also rose 19.5 percent year on year during the same period, according to customs data.

“By deepening the integration with industrial chains in coastal areas, Jiangxi can give full play to its advantages in inland resources, factor costs and bearing capacity,” said Yang Guiping, Director of the local department of industry and information technology.

Improved Business Environment

“We have over fulfilled our orders by over 2 million euros in the first quarter and expect a 20-percent increase in the annual production this year,” said Yang Zhiming, General Manager of Fresenius Kabi (Nanchang) Co. Ltd., a subsidiary of the German healthcare firm.

The Enterprise, located in the provincial capital city of Nanchang, faced a significant labour shortage at the beginning of the year due to the epidemic. It has resumed production in a short time with the help of the local government by launching online recruitment and arranging commuting buses for employees.

“Affected by the pandemic, production capacity of the group’s branches in other countries were insufficient, thus we have undertaken many additional tasks,” Yang said, adding that the group is therefore more optimistic about the business environment in Jiangxi.

Last year, Jiangxi rolled out an action plan consisting of 182 concrete measures to improve its business environment, further reducing financing costs, cutting red tape and promoting e-government services.

Zhang Geping, Head of Nanchang Customs, said that through years of efforts, the overall customs clearance time for imports and exports in Jiangxi have climbed to the 8th and 4th places in the country respectively, ranking first among provincial-level regions in central China.

“During the construction of the Pilot Zone, Jiangxi will further promote connectivity and the integration of customs clearance with the Yangtze River Delta Region and the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area,” Zhang said.