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Hengqin (横琴) is a coastal island tucked into the southern corner of the city of Zhuhai in Guangdong Province. Adjacent to Macao, which is no more than 200 meters away, the island has been selected as a New Area in order to enhance economic ties with Hong Kong and Macao.

On Aug. 14, 2009, the State Council approved a proposed plan on the overall development of Hengqin and Hengqin will enjoy more preferential policies than the previous economic zones in Guangdong Province.

The Hengqin New Area was officially established on Dec. 16, 2009. 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.

A bridge connecting Hengqin with Macao and Hong Kong is scheduled to open in 2016. When it is completed, it will only take about five minutes to drive to Macao and 40 minutes to drive to Hong Kong.

As improved public facilities have allowed Hengqin to expand its ties with Hong Kong and Macao, the coastal city has resolved to attract investment by developing a variety of sectors as its pillar industries: finance, business services, tourism, culture, traditional Chinese medicine, research and development centers, education bases and high tech industry.

The coastal area of Hengqin is now home to a satellite campus of the University of Macau and several state-owned banks, including the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China, Agricultural Bank of China and Bank of China.


Hengqin covers an area of 106.46 square kilometers, more than three times as large as Macao. The island is made up of one town, three communities and 11 villages.


Hengqin New Area is home to more than 7,000 people among whom 4,203 have been permanent residents since its establishment in 2009.

Seven major industries

Hengqin New Area focuses on developing finance, business services, tourism, innovation culture, Traditional Chinese Medicine, research and development centers for sciences, educational bases and high technology as its pillar industries.

Gross Domestic Product

According to the Macao Daily Times, Hengqin's GDP rose 72 percent year on year from January to June 2014, reaching 2.3 billion yuan (US$371 million). Foreign investment in use hit US$163 million, up 206 percent year on year.


September 10, 2005

Wen Jiabao, member of the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee, Premier of the State Council, took an inspection visit on Hengqin Island, instructing that: "Planning of Hengqin should be connected with the overall planning of Zhuhai, and every move should be made after sufficient planning".

December 2008

The State Council approved the Outlines for the Reform and Development Plan of the Pearl River Delta Region, clearly stating the instruction to "plan and construct Zhuhai Hengqin New Area and other cooperation areas as a carrier to strengthen the cooperation with Hong Kong and Macao in service industry and high and new technology industry etc".

January 10, 2009

Xi Jinping, then member of the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee, Vice President of PRC, announced during an inspection tour in Macao that: "the central government has decided to develop Hengqin Island, and will take into full account, during the development, the demand of Macao to realize moderate and diversified economic growth".

June 24, 2009

The Overall Development Plan of Hengqin was adopted in the executive meeting of the State Council, which stated that Hengqin Island would be incorporated into the scope of Zhuhai Special Economic Zone, and agreed, in principle, on the relocation of the University of Macau to Hengqin Island in Zhuhai, and suggested that the decision should be made by the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress.

June 27, 2009

The NPC Standing Committee made a formal approval on the proposal of building a new campus of the University of Macau in Hengqin. The NPC decided that: "the government of Macao Special Administrative Region obtains the land-use right of the new campus of the University of Macau on Hengqin Island by means of leasing, and the term will start from the date of opening of the new campus to December 19, 2049; the area is 1.0926 square kilometers;Macao Special Administrative Region is authorized to have jurisdiction over the new campus according to its laws from the date of the opening of the campus; the new campus of the University of Macau on Hengqin Island will be under separate administration from the other regions on the island, and Hengqin will become a new area implemented with the policy of "One Country, Two Systems".

August 14, 2009

The State Council formally approved the Overall Development Plan of Hengqin, incorporating Hengqin Island into the scope of Zhuhai Special Economic Zone, implementing more open policies for industries and information technology, and focusing on promoting close cooperation between Guangdong, Hong Kong and Macao and improving the prosperity and stability of Hong Kong and Macao.

December 15, 2009

Li Keqiang, member of the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee, then Vice Premier of the State Council, pointed out during an inspection on Hengqin Island that: "Hengqin and Macao shall enhance each other's strengths and pursue a common development".

December 16, 2009

Zhuhai Hengqin became the third national new area in China following Tianjin Binhai New Area and Shanghai Pudong New Area, and the initiation of the first four works with a total investment of more than RMB 72.6 billion was announced.

December 20, 2009

Hu Jintao, then President of PRC, attended the foundation stone laying ceremony of Hengqin Campus of the University of Macau on Hengqin Island in Zhuhai. He emphasized that development of Hengqin Island is an important decision of the central government.

March 5, 2010

Wen Jiabao, then Premier of the State Council, pointed out in the Government Work Report at the 3rd Session of the 11th National People's Congress that: we should actively promote the building of Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macao Bridge and other large-scale cross-border infrastructure construction as well as the development of Hengqin Island, deepen the cooperation between Guangdong, Hong Kong and Macao, and bring closer the economic relationship between the Mainland and Hong Kong and Macao.

March 6, 2010

The People's Government of Guangdong Province and the Government of Macao Special Administrative Region signed the Guangdong-Macao Cooperation Framework Agreement at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, which established key points of cooperation such as joint development of Hengqin, coordinated industry development, infrastructure, Customs clearance facilitating, social public services and regional cooperation planning, proposed a series of practical and feasible cooperation measures including co-construction of Guangdong-Macao Cooperation Industrial Park, and defined the plan to improve cooperation mechanism and other guarantee mechanism arrangements.

November 14, 2010

Wen Jiabao, then member of the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee, Premier of the State Council, took an inspection tour on Hengqin Island, requiring: "first protect the ecological environment of Hengqin Island, and secondly prevent marine pollution".

March 11, 2011

Development of Hengqin was brought under the Twelfth Five-year Plan of China.

July 14, 2011

The Reply of the State Council on Relevant Policies of Development of Hengqin was officially issued, approving the implementation of "more preferential policies than those of special economic zones" in Zhuhai Hengqin New Area, granting the Area legislative power, establishing in Hengqin special management system for Customs clearance, particular tax and financial policies and special industrial policies, and giving it exceptional approval and administration authority; Hengqin has become "a special area in the special economic zone".

January 1, 2012

Regulations on Hengqin New Area of Zhuhai Special Economic Zone formally came into force, implementing an enterprise industrial and commercial registration system in line with international practices to build an area ruled by laws combined with the legal systems of Hong Kong and Macao.

March 5, 2012

Wen Jiabao, Premier of the State Council, put forward a clear instruction in the Government Work Report at the 5th Session of the 11th National People's Congress to: "support Macao in building a world leisure tourism center, push forward the construction of Hengqin New Area, and promote a moderate and diversified economic development".

May 18, 2012

Li Changchun, then member of the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee stressed during an inspection tour in Hengqin that: technological innovation is a significant driving force for cultural development; integration of culture and technology is an important way to strengthen the core competitiveness of cultural industry.

May 24, 2012

China's first government regulation on commercial registration, the Administrative Measures for Commercial Registration in Hengqin New Area of Zhuhai Special Economic Zone, was officially promulgated for implementation. The Measures consisting of 42 articles in 8 chapters mainly set up the institutional system for commercial registration and relevant supporting supervisory framework, and made exploration in "liberalizing market access" and "keeping under strict supervision". On May 28, Zhuhai Hengqin New Area Administration for Industry and Commerce was formally established.

June 26, 2012

The General Administration of Customs issued the Opinions of the General Administration of Customs on Supporting Open Development of Hengqin New Area. The Customs put forward 24 measures supporting Hengqin's open development in 10 aspects, including: accelerating construction of port facilities, creating new Customs clearance system and measures, giving full play to regional advantages, implementing preferential tax policies, speeding up the building of Guangdong-Macao Cooperation Industrial Park, promoting regional economic growth, advancing information construction of the Customs, supporting the construction of major projects, severely punishing illegal smuggling activities and strengthening Customs security.

July 2, 2012

The Supplementary Agreement IX of the Mainland and Macao Closer Economic Partnership Arrangement (CEPA) was signed in Macao, specifying that the Agreement would be formally put into implementation on January 1, 2013. The Supplementary Agreement IX of the CEPA stipulates that: service providers of Macao are allowed to expand enrollment for the international schools set up in Hengqin, to establish entertainment venues in Hengqin, to run for-profit nursing institutions for the aged and disabled in the mainland, to open operational training agencies for educational services, and to found joint-venture performance groups with holdings controlled by the mainland party etc. Meanwhile, in consideration of the business needs of banks in Macao to participate in Hengqin's development, the Supplementary Agreement also granted approval of reducing the requirements on year-end total assets for banks in Macao to set up branch banks or legal entities in Hengqin to USD 4 billion. Hengqin became the only area in the mainland to lower access threshold for banks according to the CEPA, and this provision became a new policy specially made for Macao.

July 25, 2012

The Overall Plan of Guangdong Province on Building Comprehensive Experimental Zone for the Financial Reform and Innovation of the Pearl River Delta was issued by 8 ministries and commissions including the People's Bank of China after approval of the State Council, which indicated that: a trial implementation of exchangeable capital accounts would be carried out in Hengqin New Area to promote further opening up in financial fields.

August 10, 2012

The signing ceremony for the Comprehensive Development Project between Hengqin New Area and China Communications Construction Co., Ltd. was held in Zhudao Hotel in Guangzhou. The Project in Hengqin New Area with a total investment of RMB 38 billion covers municipal infrastructure works in Hengqin Island and reclamation works in the south. It is one of the largest projects in the field of infrastructure investment in China, and its completion will greatly improve the infrastructure conditions of Hengqin New Area, further expand the Area's development space and lay a solid foundation for the Area's prosperity.

September 8, 2012

The Incorrupt Government Office of Hengqin New Area, China's first institution integrated with relevant functions of punishing and preventing corruption, was established. The Office coordinates the functions of departments of disciplinary inspection, supervision, prosecution, audit etc. to prevent and control corruption, so as to explore experience for the anti-corruption system and mechanism of the whole province.

November 1, 2012

Hengqin New Area formally started to exercise the approval rights on establishment of municipal first-grade and some of the provincial first-grade foreign-funded enterprises and relevant business. Within the range of Hengqin New Area, relevant approval procedures for contracts and regulations related to foreign investment projects in infrastructure and extractive industry under USD 100 million and those encouraged or permitted foreign investment projects with a total investment (including capital increment) under USD 300 million can be handled within the Area.

December 8, 2012

General Secretary Xi Jinping took an inspection tour in Hengqin.He pointed out that: developing Hengqin is a move in consideration of the current situation; it plays a guiding role and is of great significance as a win-win strategy; it will contribute to maintaining the long-term prosperity and stability of Macao. He also stressed that the blueprint has already been made, and with a solid start, the prospect is bright and promising.

December 27, 2012

The Department of Finance of Guangdong Province issued a Notice on the Issuance of the Interim Measures of the Department of Finance of Guangdong Province for Administration on the Tax-bearing Deficiency Payment of the Individual Income Tax of Citizens of Hong Kong and Macao Working in Hengqin New Area of Zhuhai (No. YCF (2012) 93). The Measures came into effect on January 1, 2013. Citizens of Hong Kong and Macao who work in Hengqin New Area will be granted full-amount subsidies for the deficiency between the individual income tax actually paid by the citizen and the tax payable calculated according to the tax laws of Hong Kong and Macao. The range of the subsidies covers all the 11 types of incomes as specified in the Individual Income Tax Law of China.

December 28, 2012

Hengqin New Homeland was completed, getting its first moving-back residents. The New Homeland was designed by a group led by the famous designer He Jingtang. Lingnan-style ecological building community combined with modern elements present a classical but not old feature, echoing with the style of the new campus of the University of Macau on the other side of the road. With a total investment of RMB 770 million, the first-phase buildings of the New Homeland cover an area of 60,000 square meters with 1,077 apartments in 14 house types to meet different demands of the villagers.

December 28, 2012

The East Huandao Road in Hengqin New Area was completed, marking Hengqin's farewell to the history of lagging municipal infrastructure construction. The integrated trench under the road surface is the longest urban infrastructure in one-time plan of China. The trench is 3 meters high and 4-10 meters wide laid along the East, North and West Huandao Road, and North and South Zhongxin Road, forming a circular pipeline system.It reaches a length of 33.4 kilometers, the longest record in China's history of single construction.

February 3, 2013

An article entitled A New Landmark for Reform and Opening-up: Zhuhai Hengqin—A Foreland of Integration of Guangdong, Hong Kong and Macao was published on the People's Daily, complimenting that: Hengqin New Area has ushered in its first season of harvest after 3 years of efforts; its role as the main platform for the moderate and diversified economic development of Macao is further highlighted; a new pattern of all-round, multilevel and wide-range cooperation between Guangdong, Hong Kong and Macao is taking shape.

February 16, 2013

The National Demonstration Area for Ocean Ecological Civilization Construction of Hengqin New Area was approved at the director office meeting of the State Oceanic Administration of the People's Republic of China, followed with a public notification.

February 28, 2013

The Guidance Directory for Industrial Development of Hengqin New Area ("the Guidance Directory") was formally issued by the National Development and Reform Commission. The Directory covers a total of 200 industry entries in seven industries of Hengqin New Area.

April 11, 2013

The Supervision and Administration Measures for Entry-Exit Inspection and Quarantine in Hengqin was issued by the General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine of the People's Republic of China.

May 29, 2013

The Ministry of Finance, the General Administration of Customs and the State Administration of Taxation jointly issued the Notice on Tax Policies for Import Business in Development of Hengqin, which stipulates to carry out records management on some of the production-related cargos imported from overseas to Hengqin, and grant tax exemption or bonded policies.

July 20, 2013

Fernando Chui Sai On, chief executive of Macao Special Administrative Region, issued the Chief Executive Dispatch No. 218/2013, stipulating that the opening date of the new campus of the University of Macau in Hengqin Island shall be July 20, 2013, which marks that the great idea of "One Country, Two Systems" has been put into new practice in Hengqin, and Hengqin New Area has formally become the country's only special area under the policy of "One Island, Two Systems".

August 1, 2013

Measures for the Supervision and Administration of the Customs of the People's Republic of China on Hengqin New Area issued by the General Administration of Customs came into force, indicating that the Customs will implement the four preferential tax policies, i.e. tax exemption, duty bonded, duty drawback and selective customs collection, which are granted by the State, in Hengqin New Area.

August 2, 2013

The Member List of the Advisory Committee for the Development of Hengqin New Area was officially confirmed, introducing a "think tank" consisting of 20 celebrities in business sectors, academic world and political circles both at home and abroad, such as Edmund Ho Hau-wah, Ba Shusong, Liu Thai Ker and Chen Zhiwu, and providing advisory opinions on decisions for Hengqin's development. On August 4, James Mirrlees, Nobel Prize winner in economics, member of the Advisory Committee, became the first one on the List to visit Hengqin upon invitation.

August 8, 2013

Hengqin New Area Expert Panel on Legal Issues Related to Hong Kong & Macao was established and the first meeting was convened, at which five economic and legal experts from the mainland, Hong Kong and Macao were awarded the Letter of Appointment.

March 27, 2014

The Ministry of Finance and the State Administration of Taxation published the "Preferential Directory of Corporate Income Tax of Hengqin New Area."

March 28, 2014

Ground breaking ceremony for the Lai Chun Friendship Square, a project funded by 30 small and medium-sized businesses from Macao.

April 4, 2014

The Bureau for Macao Affairs was established in Hengqin New Area.

April 22, 2014

An investment promotion for the Guangdong-Macao Cooperation Industrial Park was held in Hengqin, during which the Macao SAR government unveiled the first batch of 33 projects recommended to enter the industrial park.

May 15, 2014

Supervision and inspection facilities for the No. 2 Channel of Hengqin New Area passed the national pre-operation examination.

May 22, 2014

Hengqin New Area led the country in publishing a memo list of unlawful business practices. The list contains 1,758 illegal business activities in 96 categories, and amounts to a "red line" in business administration.

May 29, 2014

The Starlight Chip Internet of Things Project – SVAC national standardized security monitoring production formally was established in Hengqin New Area.

June 20, 2014

The Guangdong-Macao Cooperation Industrial Park was launched in Hengqin New Area.

June 28, 2014

The "No. 2 Channel" of Hengqin New Area officially started operation.

June 30, 2014

The business registration procedure to applying for licenses was formally streamlined in Hengqin New Area.

August 7, 2014

Zhuhai International Court of Arbitration was formally launched in Hengqin New Area.

September 19, 2014

The signing ceremony was held in Hengqin New Area to see cross-border cooperation in the insurance agencies for motorized vehicles from both Guangdong Province and Macao.

October 16, 2014

The Hengqin New Area Court launched the pilot program for "Regulations on the Punishment of Judges in Cases of Misconduct."

December 12, 2014

Premier Li Keqiang told an executive meeting on Dec 12 that Guangdong and Fujian provinces and the northern port city of Tianjin will follow Shanghai's lead and establish FTZs in their respective jurisdictions. Guangdong FTZ includes three areas: Zhuhai's Hengqin, Shenzhen's Qianhai and Guangzhou's Nansha.