The Shanghai Lingang New Area, part of the Shanghai Pilot Free Trade Zone, will be built into a world-class trade zone to compete with major economic zones like Tokyo Bay and Singapore's Marina Bay, according to officials.
Formally announced as a free trade zone by China's State Council in August, the Lingang New Area promises to offer easier capital flow, improved transport and relaxed regulations for personnel and communications.
Among the major global companies to join the new development is electric car giant Tesla, with its new Gigafactory being the US carmaker's first overseas production site.
Trial-production began in October, just 10 months after the plant broke ground in the Lingang New Area when the first 220-kilovolt transmission line powering the factory was put into action. It uses 55 kilometers of cable and about 17 kilometers of ducts.
The project was put together at lightning speed and took less than 6 months to complete.
"The construction period and preparation period was very short. We also had to face some extreme weather, and meet the requirement of the power supply arrangement. We got involved in the project early to offer our service proactively, and had exchanges with them comprehensively, so we could understand and deal with the demands at different stages of the construction process," said Liu Ming, general manager of the Shanghai Lingang Economic Development Company.
The German automation company Lenze set up a plant in Lingang in 2007. Company executives said the new series personnel and housing policies adopted in the area have helped them to attract more talents and has encouraged them to move their Asia research and development center to Lingang.
"Our production is very big this year and we need a lot more workers. The local government has introduced us to the job market place and provided public rental housing or subsidies to workers as some white-collar workers live a bit far from the downtown," said Sean Xie, president of Lenze's East Asia division.
Lingang has unveiled 50 preferential policies related to administrative approvals, finance, taxation, industrial development, and housing to make it a more friendly place to both live and do business.
It will be benchmarked against high international standards and common practices to compete with the top free trade zones worldwide and help further open up the Chinese economy. Authorities said the experience gained in Lingang could be promoted nationwide to stimulate China's ongoing reform and opening-up process.