(Yicai Global) March 28 -- Home to China's most significant free trade zone, Shanghai will advance a series of opening-up policies on finance, land, shareholding ratios and others in the FTZ to improve the business environment, a recent document shows. Eligible retail investors may be able to invest in overseas securities in the zone.
The document, issued by the municipal government in mid-March, includes 59 new opening-up policies and identifies different departments in charge. The municipal government requires relevant departments to implement the innovative measures in the first half of 2019 in principle.
The China Shanghai Pilot Free Trade Zone will encourage and support the local banking industry to issue yuan loans to overseas institutions and projects to meet financing demands in overseas investment, project construction, contract work and exporting large equipment, according to the document.
The FTZ will also consider expanding the scope of overseas investments, increase the investment quota, support eligible retail investors within the FTZ to invest in overseas securities by rule and advance the Shanghai-London Stock Connect, a mechanism which links the stock markets in Shanghai and London.
It also plans to push local financial institutions to handle businesses such as yuan derivatives for overseas institutions under the premise of legal compliance and controllable risks.
The FTZ will make the application programming interfaces of the online tax system accessible, enabling its integration with enterprises' financial software systems to deal with tax-related matters online.
The zone will also pilot land reform, allowing land in the FTZ to increase the plot ratio modestly based on functional requirements and the same block or the same building to be compatible with multiple functions, provided they meet planning requirements.
China classifies land into various types, such as commercial land, residential land and agricultural land. Businesses can't change their purpose at will.
The adjustment of the rules means that all businesses located in the 120-square-kilometer FTZ can promote industrial transformation and improve the efficiency of land by modestly increasing the plot ratio.