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Shanghai’s pilot FTZ to enter a new phase of reform

THE China (Shanghai) Pilot Free Trade Zone is to further relax regulations on trade facilitation, foreign investment, aiming at a better-integrated mechanism to drive financial reforms in the area, Shanghai Vice May Zhou Bo said today in Beijing during a media briefing on China’s free trade zones.

Last Sunday, the State Council was reported to have given approval to a new reform plan of the Shanghai pilot free trade zone, and the details will be released tomorrow.

Highlights of the plan include the launch of a new free trade port inside the zone, attracting foreign investors to issue yuan-denominated financial products, and cut taxation to companies or projects that are involved in the "Belt and Road" initiative, according to earlier media reports.

"In deepening the reform within the free trade zone, we are taking the highest global standards for reference," said Zhou. "By pushing forward reform measures on trade and investment facilities, we want to send a clear message to the world that China is opening the market in all aspects."

Zhou said the new plan of the FTZ is in line with a systematic reform of the Shanghai's construction of an international financial innovation hub, and invite independent institutions to improve the governance.

"Institutional innovation should rely on relaxation of rules, rather than making more of them," Zhou said.

Shanghai FTZ was launched on September 2013, with an initial area of 28.78 square kilometers. The area was later quadrupled in size in 2014, in order to involve more sectors and market players to materialize benefits in the area.


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