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China (Shanghai) Pilot Free Trade Zone: Negative List (unofficial English translation)

Business Regulation and Tax Newsflash

Issue 4 - 29 September 2013

As expected, the China (Shanghai) Pilot Free Trade Zone ("China (Shanghai) Pilot FTZ") was officially launched today (September 29). According to the media report, a first batch of 36 Chinese and overseas companies were granted the licenses certifying their registration in the China (Shanghai) Pilot FTZ this morning, including 8 local banks, 2 foreign banks and 1 financial leasing company.

The potential impact of the pilot zone on the Chinese economy is being compared to the launch of the Shenzhen Special Economic Zone by Deng Xiaoping in 1980. The package of measures being rolled out in the China (Shanghai) Pilot FTZ, if successful, is expected later to be implemented throughout the country. Experience gained through these pilot measures also will directly inform the position that Chinese negotiators take during free trade agreement negotiations.  

Unlike previous "Special Economic Zones", the China (Shanghai) Pilot FTZ is expected to create - as measured by international standards - a largely free and open economy for the pilot area, as it will operate as a platform for testing full convertibility of the renminbi (RMB) and the opening up of financial services, in addition to operating as a typical FTZ in which goods can be imported, processed and exported free from customs duties.

Many investors are already taking advantage of the anticipated Shanghai Pilot FTZ reforms, and more are expected to follow suit as the pilot rules take shape.

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