China Focus: China's Hengqin lifts tariffs for most imports from Macao -Xinhua

China Focus: China's Hengqin lifts tariffs for most imports from Macao

Source: Xinhua

Editor: huaxia

2024-03-01 22:53:15

GUANGZHOU, March 1 (Xinhua) -- The island of Hengqin in south China's Guangdong Province on Friday started to allow most goods to be moved there tax-free from the neighboring Macao Special Administrative Region (SAR).

The new customs operation became effective at midnight in the Guangdong-Macao In-depth Cooperation Zone in Hengqin, in the city of Zhuhai. The zone covers the 106-square-km island of Hengqin that sits between Macao and the Chinese mainland.

Under the new mechanism, tariffs will be generally lifted for goods entering Hengqin from Macao, while goods moving from Hengqin to the Chinese mainland will now be subject to import duties, if they are not eligible for added-value tax exemption.

Similar tax exemptions also apply to luggage and parcels entering Hengqin from Macao.

The new policy is seen as a major arrangement to enrich the practice of "one country, two systems" in Macao and boost economic diversification of the SAR, which has a land area of only 32.8 square km.

Li Weinong, director of the zone's executive committee, said the customs rearrangement also aims to make it easier for Macao residents to live and work in the zone.

Macao residents are now allowed to bring a reasonable amount of cooked meat, fresh vegetables and fruits into Hengqin, which is a pioneering reform in China, according to Li.

"The new policy will effectively facilitate the flow of goods, personnel, capital and information between Hengqin and Macao, and create valuable new space for Macao's new industries and business forms," said the official.

In 2021, China's central authorities decided to build the Guangdong-Macao In-depth Cooperation Zone in Hengqin and make the island an important new growth point for Macao's economy.

By the end of 2023, there were 11,500 Macao residents working or living in Hengqin, an annual increase of over 70 percent, according to the zone's statistics bureau.

Xuan Jianguo, secretary-general of the Hengqin Institute of Innovation and Development, said the customs reform will greatly boost the integration of Hengqin and Macao.

"Hengqin has completed a key step toward fulfilling its two main goals, which are promoting the diversification of Macao's economy and creating a new home for Macao residents to live and work," Xuan said.