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News & Topic in 2017

FTZ Strategy: A Huge Opportunity for Full-Fledged Uni-Top

Free trade zone (FTZ), also known as foreign trade zone or tariff-free zone, is a geographic area generally organized around major seaports, international airports, and national frontiers, where goods may be landed, stored, exhibited, manufactured, etc., and the import & export commodities, all or part, are not subject to customs duty, with an aim to boost the development of regional economy and foreign trade.

Two years later after approving the establishment of Shanghai FTZ in 2013, the State Council of China granted Guangdong, Tianjin and Fujian to have FTZs, and in 2017, decided to set up seven more in Liaoning, Zhejiang, Henan, Hubei, Chongqing, Sichuan, Shaanxi; hence, the layout of 1+3+7 network has come into being. On April 1 this year, Hubei Pilot FTZ was officially initiated, covering a total area of 120 square kilometers with 70 in Wuhan, 28 in Yichang and 22 in Xiangyang. As the largest of all, Wuhan Pilot Free-Trade Area is aimed at developing strategic emerging industries such as cutting edge IT, life and health science, intelligent manufacturing, etc., and modern service industries inclusive of foreign trade, financial service, logistics, inspection and detection, R&D and design, IT service and specialized service. This is unprecedentedly a great opportunity for the growth of Uni-Top Airlines. Founded in Wuhan in 2008, the air carrier set Wuhan Tianhe Airport as its air freight hob, conforming to its commitment to be a global provider of integrated logistics solutions. Amazingly, it turned out that the company’s management were creative, visionary leaders; not only is their careful planning in line with the Belt and Road initiative but benefits from a tailwind of the national development strategy.

Hubei Province is situated in central China, and functions as a pivot; thereby the development momentum accumulated in the east is forwarded to the west, particularly along the Yangtze River Economic Zone. Now, on top of that, the establishment of Hubei FTZ can assist in the development of an export-oriented economy, which exactly corresponds to the current national strategy. Wuhan Pilot Free-Trade Area belongs to an inland type, so the international trade and cross-border logistics rely more on the synergy between the airport and logistics operations, thus having resulted in a sharp rise in demand on air freight. According to Wuhan customs’ data release, Hubei’s import and export volume to Europe, the US, Japan, South Korea and other major traditional markets grew sharply in the first half of 2017. The European Union has become the largest trading partner with Hubei; the total revenue has reached CNY 9.09 billion with an increase of 20.2%, which accounts for about 13.7% of the province’s total revenue of foreign trade. Furthermore, in the first quarter of this year, there were nine cities in the province whose export volume increased, of which Wuhan exceeded 30 per cent, indicating a great demand for air freight service.

It is in the year of 2016 that Uni-Top opened up air freight routes for scheduled and chartered flights to Mumbai, Madras, Dhaka, Karachi and Singapore, all radiating from Wuhan, the metropolitan and transport hub situated in the heart of china. Its cooperation with Tianhe Airport is doubtlessly to be closer for a more promising year.

As is known to all, economic globalization and regional economic integration are the future trends. Believing in this consensus, Uni-Top Airlines has established five hubs including Wuhan in the center, Shenzhen & Macau in the south, Kunming in the southwest, Wuxi in the east, and Tianjin in the north, contributing to the economic prosperity at home and abroad. Dancing with the national FTZ strategy, the airline will be especially competitive considering that as the first private firm in China that purchased long-range jumbo freighters, it has accumulated ample experience in business development, operation and control, flight safety assurance, and aircraft maintenance.