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Hub blueprint discussions start

SHANGHAI law makers yesterday began deliberations on their first comprehensive blueprint which will go toward cementing the city as a leading world financial hub.

The Standing Committee of the Shanghai Municipal People's Congress yesterday reviewed a draft outlining measures that include awards for financial talents, preferential land allotment for the financial industry and more convenient travel between China and abroad for expatriates.

Shanghai is creating "a better environment for talents, innovation, creditability and financial legislation" via the measures. But no timetable has been given for when the measures will be effective.

It's the first time that city law makers are drafting rules to boost Shanghai's ambitions to be a financial center. Pudong New Area, where many leading financial institutions have their offices, has district level rules. The State Council, China's Cabinet, is set to launch national rules to solidify Shanghai's leading position as a financial hub.

Expatriates working in the financial industry will also find it easier to enter and leave Shanghai as immigration procedures will be simplified. The draft also includes policies to attract and retain financial professionals by addressing quality-of-life concerns such as health care and education for their children.

Shanghai is already at the heart of China's financial industry. The city is home to about 70 percent of the overseas banks that operate in the country as well as major insurers and joint venture fund management companies.

The draft also calls for a database of senior financial managers at banks, insurers, brokers and futures firms.


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