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The Central Government has given Shanghai the green light to set upthe mainland’s first free trade zone,moving it closer to becoming aglobal financial, trade and shippinghub to rival other Asian cities such as HongKong. The pilot free trade zone will serve asa new growth engine amid an economicslowdown and sluggish foreign trade. Themost valued function of the zone is servingas a testing ground for China to roll out majorfinancial reforms as experience gained fromthe pilot zone will be copied to other regionsof the country. Questions remain as to whetherShanghai might challenge Hong Kong’sstatus as an offshore yuan trading center afterthe establishment of the zone. Experts alsowarn of possible risks the pilot zone may facein the future.
Shanghai plan to lure foreign investors to free-trade zone
Shanghai Free-trade Zone is the first Hong Kong-like free trade area in mainland China. The plan was first announced by the government in July and it was personally endorsed by Premier Li Keqiang who said he wanted to make the zone a snapshot of how China can upgrade its economic structure. Other mainland cities and provinces including Tianjin and Guangdong have also lobbied Beijing for such approvals. The Shanghai FTZ will first span 28.78 square kilometres in the city's Pudong New Area, including the Waigaoqiao duty-free zone and Yangshan port and it is believed it may eventually expand to cover the entire Pudong district which covers 1,210.4 sq km of land.
Free trade zone a boon for Shanghai
Now that the Shanghai free trade zone has got the State Council's approval, people have begun to wonder what Shanghai would be like without it. The short answer is all those big plans for becoming an international financial center and a global trading hub will remain, well, big plans for many years to come.
Shanghai Free Trade Zone May Offer Corporate Tax Benefits
People familiar with the matter disclosed that Shanghai will not provide many tax advantages to companies located in its free trade zone (FTZ) as expected, and that the pilot zone will mainly focus on introducing innovative systems.
Shanghai's free trade zone gets approved
The State Council approved Shanghai's free trade zone project on Wednesday, which will catapult the city to the forefront of global logistics centers. The project, occupying 28 square kilometers, will center around the Yangshan Deep Water Port and will take more than 10 years to build.
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