Acta Geographica Sinica ›› 2011, Vol. 66 ›› Issue (2): 223-234.doi: 10.11821/xb201102008

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Evaluation on the Establishment of Free Trade Zones in Tianjin Binhai New Area

MENG Guangwen1, LIU Ming2   

  1. 1. College of Urban and Environmental Science, Tianjin Normal University, Tianjin 300387, China;
    2. Foreign Language School, affiliated to Tianjin Foreign Language University, Tianjin 300230, China
  • Received:2010-04-12 Revised:2010-09-13 Online:2011-02-20 Published:2011-02-20
  • Supported by:

    Key Project of Philosophy and Social Science of Tianjin Municipality, No.TJYY08-1-063

Abstract: China is facing new challenges of transition from bonded zone to free trade zone under the background of globalization and China's entry into WTO. Established in the 1990s, Tianjin Port Free Trade Zone (Bonded Zone), Tianjin Airport Economic Zone and Tianjin Dong-Jiang Free Trade Zone (Bonded Zone) have become the most successful bonded zones in China and the growing poles and leading industry of Tianjin Binhai New Area (TBNA). Despite some problems in function and space arrangement and policy limit, in fact, the bonded zones in TBNA have the potential to transit to a typical free trade zone based on the favorable location, policy support and development demand. Based on fuzzy synthetic evaluation method, analytic hierarchy process (AHP) and questionnaire, this paper attempts to build an evaluation model with a three-level index system according to free trade theory and empirical experience of world free trade zones and free ports. Referred to the experience of Hong Kong Free Port, the study finally evaluates the comprehensive development level of TBNA's three bonded zones in terms of the objective and its utility, freedom and openness, functional development as well as environment improvement. Based on the above analysis, the paper discusses the achievements and problems of TBNA's bonded zones and puts forward suggestions, including implementing open-door policy, promoting industrial development, improving investment environment, raising the economic benefit and institutional innovation. The three-step plan of TBNA's transition to free trade zones has been submitted with three bonded zones as the first step, three separate free trade zones as the second step, and a comprehensive free trade zone of TBNA as the final step.

Key words: free trade zone, bonded zone, fuzzy synthetic evaluation method, Ananlytic Hierarchy Process (AHP), questionnaire, Tianjin Binhai New Area