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FTZ should learn better practice from others to gain traction on reform

THE three-year-old pilot Shanghai Free Trade Zone should intake certain better practices from its counterpart in Shenzhen and thrives on building an international commodity trading platform as part of its next step on financial reform, the economy committee of city's political advisory body said in a report yesterday.

The report was submitted as proposal to the fifth session of the 12th Shanghai Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC) which opened Saturday. The annual CPPCC meetings is a part of city's "Two Sessions."

"The top priority issue for the free trade zone is financial reform and the transformation of government functions," said Wang Liang, deputy director of the Committee of Economy of Shanghai CPPCC.

Wang said that Shanghai should learn from Shenzhen's Qianhai-Shekou Free Trade Zone on its market-oriented approach, turning municipal government as coordinator between companies rather than regulation enforcer, and delegate decision-making process to local enterprises in order to boost business motivation.

To be more specific, Shanghai should integrate a commodity trading platform and open it to the global market, Wang said. By far, commodity trade inside the pilot free trade zone was mainly limited among several state-owned enterprises, and didn't boost large trading volume from international players due to insufficient management tools, Wang said.

"Shanghai should play bold on administrative innovation, build up in-process control and post analysis system based on big data strategy in order to make flexible management," Wang said.

The Shanghai Free Trade Zone was among the key topics of the Two Sessions and Mayor Yang Xiong’s opening speech on Shanghai People’s Congress on Sunday.

By the end of the second day of Two Sessions, 14 committee members of CPPCC submitted proposals on the development of Shanghai’s free trade zone, with concerns vary from further establishments of cross-border e-commerce platforms to how to attract financial technology companies and venture capitals to the zone.


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