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January 9, 2019

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Home » District » Pudong

Pioneering free trade zone transforms a city

THE China (Shanghai) Pilot Free Trade Zone was es­tablished in September 2013, covering an area of 28.78 kilometers. It includes Waigaoqiao Free Trade Zone, Waigaoqiao Free Trade Logistics Park, Yangshan Free Trade Port Area and Pudong Airport Com­prehensive Free Trade Zone.

The zone expanded from 28 square kilometers to 120 square kilometers in April 2015 when Zhangjiang High-tech Park, Jin­qiao Export Processing Zone and Lujiazui Financial and Trade Zone were included.

After five years of operation and development, the industrial layout of the free trade zone is clear — the Yangshan bonded area focuses on international trade and shipment, the compre­hensive bonded area of Pudong International Airport emphasizes air transport, the Lujiazui area en­gages in finance and trade while Zhangjiang develops science and technology industries.

The construction of Shanghai’s Pilot Free Trade Zone was a stra­tegic measure and a milestone in the process of reform and opening-up.

Constant improvement in the development of the Shanghai Free Trade Zone and the formation of more replicable achievements of institutional innovation are urged to build the zone into a highland of reform and opening-up.

Over the past five years, the city’s free trade zone has pioneered new approaches by initiating the first negative list throughout the country, promoting the reform of foreign capital management, taking the lead in the test run of separating business licenses and other certificates, establishing a “single window” for foreign trade to make customs clearance more efficient, launching free trade accounts, promoting further macro-prudential management of finance and the market-oriented reform of foreign currency de­posit interest rates.

At the frontline of opening-up, the “Special Administrative Mea­sures (Negative List) for Foreign Investment Access to Pilot Free Trade Zones (2018 Version)” sets out industries where foreign in­vestment is limited or prohibited in the free trade zones, with the number of items down to 45 from 190 in 2013.

Over the period, more than US$100 billion has been attrib­uted to institutional innovation in the zone.

By the end of June 2018, more than 55,000 enterprises had reg­istered in the zone, a fifth of them foreign-funded. And the foreign-funded companies had ploughed over US$110 billion of investment into the zone.

The zone, home to over 250 regional headquarters of multi­national conglomerates, reported imports and exports totaling 6.08 trillion yuan.

“The Shanghai Free Trade Zone should explore more effective opening measures in the key areas of telecommunications, cul­ture, education and medical care, and improve the systematic ap­proach of institutional innovation by further opening up and trans­forming government functions,” said Zhu Ming, deputy director of Shanghai Development and Reform Commission.

“Our restrictions on foreign investment mainly focuses on the ratio of shares, while those in developed countries are main­ly behavioral restrictions. In practice, behavioral restriction is better to achieve the policy objective.

“Our reform and opening-up should finally be reflected in competitiveness, and the Shang­hai Free Trade Zone should play a greater role in coping with the new situation of the global econ­omy,” Zhu added.


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