Qingdao is one of China's first 14 coastal open cities. It has established many opening-up functional areas, including the National Qingdao Economic and Technological Development Zone, Qingdao High and New-Tech Development Zone, Qingdao Qianwan Bonded Port Area, Qingdao Export Processing Zone, Qingdao West Coast Export Processing Zone, Sino-Germany Ecological Park, and Jiaozhou Economic and Technological Development Zone. In addition, taking advantage of negotiations resulting from the China, Japan and South Korea free trade zone, Qingdao is accelerating plans to build innovation parks in cooperation with Japan and South Korea.
So far, Qingdao has more than 15,000 foreign-invested enterprises. In 2012, the city approved 956 new and capital-increase projects, with contract foreign capital reaching 6 billion yuan ($978.2 million) and real use of foreign fund amounting to 4.6 billion yuan, making it second among 15 cities at the sub-provincial level. By 2012, as many as 112 overseas Global Top 500 enterprises have invested in Qingdao. In addition, 486 Qingdao-based enterprises, including Haier, Hisense and Tsingtao Beer, have established overseas enterprises in 66 countries and regions. The city has finished building a "sister city" relationship with 60 cities in 33 countries around the world. The number of branches of foreign local governments and foreign companies has reached 2,100.