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China’s inland pilot free trade zones are deploying more resources to invest in airport extensions and logistics projects to turn themselves into “China’s Memphis”－to compete with free trade zones near the coast.
Memphis, Tennessee, is an important transportation hub in the United States and also the world’s second-busiest cargo airport after Hong Kong. FedEx Corp, the US multinational courier, is based in the city.
Hu Heping, governor of Shaanxi province, said that China (Shaanxi) Pilot Free Trade Zone is at the center of China’s inland and is the starting point of the Silk Road. It has unique location advantages and could become an aviation and freight hub.
China so far has established 11 free trade zones to accelerate the country’s opening-up and boost the Belt and Road Initiative, including those in landlocked Shaanxi and Henan plus coastal areas like Zhejiang and Guangdong.