(LowTax.net) -- Shanghai Customs said recently that almost 18,000 firms have registered with customs authorities in the Shanghai Pilot Free Trade Zone since it launched four years ago.
There are now over 27,000 companies operating in the four bonded zones that merged in September 2013 to become the Shanghai Pilot Free Trade Zone.
Of the newly registered companies, 13,600 are privately owned, more than 3,200 are wholly foreign-funded businesses, and 940 are Chinese–foreign joint ventures.
The companies cover 54 industries. Wholesale or retail firms make up 94 percent, while five percent are financial enterprises. The rest are mainly transport, storage, and postal firms.
In the first three quarters, foreign trade in the Zone rose 16.2 percent year on year to CNY997.6bn (USD150.2bn).
The Shanghai Pilot Free Trade Zone was launched on September 29, 2013, and offers companies a number of tax preferences. It comprises a bonded area, high-tech park, financial area, and an export processing zone.