China-Russia free trade zone opens border trade to 14 more countries
HARBIN — Suifenhe, a major land checkpoint in Northeast China’s Heilongjiang province, has seen its free trade zone with Russia open to 14 more countries including Mongolia, the Republic of Korea and the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea.
Bao Huixin, deputy director of the Suifenhe Free Trade Zone Administration, said the free trade zone’s opening up can benefit border residents from the countries and further grow border trade.
She said the zone has been reopened since March 3 after closing for over 30 days due to the novel coronavirus disease. Currently, body temperature tests are mandated for everyone entering the zone.
Candy, chocolate, flour, sunflower seeds, pine nuts and frozen fish are the most-traded goods in Suifenhe, with the total trade volume in the free trade zone expected to reach 50 million yuan ($7 million) in March.
Bao said from March 1 to May 31, the comprehensive import tax rate in the zone is reduced from 3.696 percent to 1.232 percent in support of the traders amid the epidemic.
She said the administration will carry out research and communications to bring more high-quality commodities from the 15 importing countries for trading in the zone.