CHONGQING, May 13 -- The first phase of China's first inland bonded area, in the southwest of the country, passed state appraisal on Tuesday, enabling it to open for business by the end of the month.
An authentication team from the State Council examined the infrastructure construction, customs service and monitoring facilities of Cuntan Bonded Area in Chongqing municipality, said Lu Weihong, head of the team of officers from the General Administration of Customs and other authorities.
"The bonded area is expected to start operation at the end of May," said Zhai Lu, publicity officer of Cuntan.
The 8.37-square-km area, built at a cost of 10 billion yuan ($1.46 billion), centers both the Cuntan Harbor, on the upper reaches of the Yangtze River, and the Jiangbei International Airport.
Construction of the first phase, which covers 2.67 sq km, started in June last year, and the second and third phases of the bonded area are scheduled for completion in 2015.
The bonded area will focus on harbor business, air transport, foreign trade, export-oriented processing and commodity displays, and become an accelerator for the opening of China's central and western inland cities.
The bonded harbor area has offered 22 preferential policies, attracting 94 domestic and overseas enterprises, including 42 that had started business, said Bao Zichuan, chairman of the project's developing company.
The annual export output in the area was expected to reach 200 billion yuan after it became fully operational and the annual output value of the storage and logistic services was expected to hit 500 billion yuan, said Zhou Mubing, vice mayor of Chongqing.