Tianjin Port Free Trade Zone, founded in May 1991 at the national level with the approval of the State Council, is the only free trade zone in North and Northwest China and the largest one in northern China. Covering an area of five square kilometers, it is located within the Tianjin Port area and is an important part of the central business district of the China (Tianjin) Pilot Free Trade Zone.
The free trade zone has the four major functions of international trade, modern logistics, port-based processing, and commodity exhibition and sales. After years of development, it has formed three leading industries, namely international trade, modern logistics and port-based processing.
There are currently over 3,000 commercial companies in the zone trading with enterprises in more than 100 countries and regions. The zone has also attracted more than 500 transnational logistic enterprises, including Volkswagen, Mercedes-Benz, Acustik-Lab, Maersk, Toyota Tsusho, and Kerry Logistics, distributing over 2,000 varieties of goods.
In the first half of 2017, the zone's GDP was 90.13 billion yuan ($13.06 billion), with a year-on-year growth rate of 13.2 percent. The total export-import volume of the zone in 2017 reached 123.99 billion yuan, a year-on-year increase of 19.6 percent. Exports accounted for 25.95 billion yuan, an increase of 21.6 percent over the figure for the previous year.