The China-South Korea Industrial Park in Yantai will be a major destination for bilateral trade and investment cooperation, according to an FTA signed by the two countries in June. Ju Chuanjiang / China Daily

The China-South Korea Industrial Park in Yantai, Shandong province, expects a boost as a result of a recent bilateral free trade agreement between the two countries.

According to the FTA signed in June, the China-South Korea Industrial Park and the Saemangeum Development Zone in South Korea will be the major destinations for bilateral investment and trade cooperation, with a highlight on 11 industries.

“We are trying to make the park in Yantai a model for industrial cooperation between China and South Korea,” said Meng Fanli, Party chief of Yantai.

“The industrial park is targeted to become the best investment destination in China for South Korean enterprises and the largest distribution center for South Korean goods in China,” Meng added.

Entrepreneurs are taking advantage of these business opportunities. More than 20 South Korea-based logistics enterprises visited Yantai in June.

Local officials in Yantai said they expect the park to become a transit hub for Chinese commodities headed to South Korea and South Korean goods coming to the Chinese mainland and Europe.

According to Yu Dong, director of the Yantai Bureau of Commerce, the park with a total area of 349 square kilometers, includes spaces for emerging industries and modern service industries, and a port economic zone.

The emerging industrial area focuses on advanced equipment manufacturing, new energy and energy conservation, environmental protection, electronic information, marine engineering and technology and other new industries.

The port economic zone is a destination for trade, logistics and e-commerce, while the modern service industry area features finance, insurance, cultural creativity, healthcare and other service industries.

Located in the east of Shandong Peninsula and facing South Korea across the Yellow Sea, Yantai has more than 50,000 Koreans who live and work there.

Trade between Yantai and South Korea reached $10.97 billion in 2014, up 20.2 percent year-on-year.

The city received $200 million worth of investment from South Korea the same year, a 31 percent increase from 2013.

At present, eight Fortune 500 companies from South Korea – including LG, Doosan, GM Daewoo and Hyundai, have established branches in Yantai.

Close cooperation between the two sides makes Yantai China’s largest production base for excavators, and an important production base for smartphones, automobiles and auto parts.

“The China-South Korea Industrial Park will promote the industrial upgrading of both sides,” Yu Dong said.

He added that the park has helped the city attract $5.3 billion of South Korean investments for 3,551 projects, mainly in the construction machinery, vehicle and other advanced manufacturing industries, as well as energy-saving and biotechnology sectors.

(China Daily 08/22/2015 page8)