橫琴誌 | HENGQIN RECORD

What is Hengqin?

Hengqin is not just an island adjacent to Macau, it is also the third New Area of China’s national strategic “high ground” after Shanghai Pudong and Tianjin Binhai. It is also a Free Trade Zone (“FTZ”).

Hengqin is an island located in the south of Zhuhai and is more than three times the size of Macau at 106.46 square kilometers.

After the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macau Bridge opens, Hengqin will be the only FTZ on the Chinese mainland with land access to both Hong Kong and Macau. It has been selected as a New Area in order to enhance economic ties with Hong Kong and Macau. It is China’s only national new area of “One Island, Two Systems.” 

Hengqin New Area was formally established on 16 December 2009 following a visit by Xi Jingping – who at the time was China’s Vice President – in January 2009.

The following day, Li Keqiang, Vice Premier at that time, visited Hengqin and noted that it should contrast nicely while developing together with Macau.

In the ensuing years, it has enjoyed great economic expansion with the support of preferential policies including high tax rebates and 24-hour customs clearance.

The coastal city has resolved to attract investment by developing a variety of sectors as its pillar industries – namely finance, business services, tourism, culture, traditional Chinese medicine, research and development centers, education bases and high tech industry.

Hengqin is becoming a cultural and educational pilot zone and an international business, service, recreational and travel base, aiming to create a new carrier for the diversified development of Macau’s economy, promoting Macau’s moderate economic diversification via non-gaming elements and strengthened regional cooperation.

Macau-based companies now has over 30 projects in development on Hengqin. Galaxy Entertainment Group, SJM, Sands China and MGM China have all invested in land with the intention of building non-gaming projects including hotel resorts, tourism and transportation service centers and conference and exhibition centers.

As a national strategic platform, Hengqin is the first world-geared and Hong Kong-Macau-prioritized demonstration area working in close cooperation with Guangdong.

The Hengqin Free Trade Zone plans a land reclamation project to double its landmass by 2020.

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