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China to set up free port zone near Vietnam border

China to set up free port zone near Vietnam border

Beijing: China plans to establish a free port zone close to its border with Vietnam to boost economic ties with its southeast Asian neighbours, writes Reuters. The municipal government of Qinzhou, a coastal city in Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, said on its website it had won approval from Beijing to set up the tax-free zone. Qinzhou (pictured), 160 km from the Vietnamese port of Haiphong, handles over 8m tonnes of cargo a year.

China is also building new roads and rail links to strengthen ties with its southern neighbours. Its goal is to boost trade with the 10-member Association of South East Asian Nations to $200bn a year by 2010 from $113bn in 2005.

Qinzhou's website, quoting a local newspaper report, said the city beat rival ports including Shenzhen, Qingdao and Xiamen to host China's sixth free port zone. The others are in Shanghai, Tianjin, Dalian, Ningbo and Hainan province.  [09/06/08]