China's seven new free trade zones (green) include for the first time inland provinces, as Beijing looks to broaden economic development and support the Belt and Road initiative. Source: US China Press

This month China officially launched new free trade zones (FTZ) in seven provinces. To give us a clue about what significance the FTZs have for China’s economic strategy, Derrick Hong at The Asset looked at what role each province will play.

According to Shouwen Wang, the vice minister of China’s Ministry of Commerce, the FTZ in the northeastern province of Liaoning will focus on deepening state-owned enterprise reform.

Zhejiang, the coastal home province of Jack Ma, and the location of Alibaba’s headquarters, will focus FTZ activity on international shipping and commodities trading.

The Henan FTZ, which is just south of the Hebei Province, home of the Xiongan New Area economic development project, will act as a logistics hub.

The Hubei FTZ will support the province’s strategic role as a center for industrial innovation and economic growth along the Yangtze River economy belt.

Finally, the Sichuan and Chongqing FTZs will support the One Belt, One Road initiative, along with the Shaanxi FTZ. Shaanxi will also focus on collaborating with Belt and Road participant countries on agricultural sector projects.