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September 22, 2009

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Home » Business » Economy

Relaxed rules will boost trade

SHANGHAI needs to ease the rules for foreigners doing business in the city if it wants to achieve the target of transforming itself into a global trade center by 2020, said a top city official yesterday.

"China needs Shanghai to develop into a center that matches the nation's clout in global trade," said Sha Hailin, chairman of the Shanghai Commission of Commerce.

"Shanghai has made rapid progress in building infrastructure for trade and streamlining red tape,'' he said. "We will continue to open the market wider and enhance flexibility in pricing and resource allocation."

Sha made the remarks at a summit in Shanghai, which was a prelude to the 2009 International Sourcing Fair that runs from today until Saturday in ShanghaiMart.

Sha said the city will simplify procedures and lower requirements for foreigners doing import and export business with the city.

Shanghai will apply to the State Council, China's Cabinet, for favorable policies needed to implement its 2020 goal, Ma Yinfang, deputy chairman of the commission, told Shanghai Television yesterday.

The greater Hongqiao area, which surrounds the Hongqiao transport hub and stretches into districts including Minhang and Qingpu, will become a core part of the city's plan.

Yi Xiaozhun, China's vice commerce minister, said trade will continue to play an important role in creating jobs and accelerating industrial reconstruction in China.

"External demand remains a driver of China's economic growth, even though we are stuck in the global economic woes that has led to slumps in exports," Yi said.

China's exports in the first eight months fell 22.2 percent from a year earlier, and the imports dropped 22.7 percent.

But the nation remains the world's second-largest exporter and third-largest trader.

Yi said China will further improve infrastructure and services for trade, adding to its strength as a low-cost labor country.

More than 4,000 domestic suppliers will attend the International Sourcing Fair, plying their wares with buyers expected from about 30 countries.


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