(Yicai Global) Jan. 17 -- Shanghai is intensifying development of its master free-trade zone reform plan for 2017-2020. The target in the next phase is to build the most open zone conforming to the world's most exacting standards.
A series of basic-level institutional arrangements, including a negative-list-based investment management system and a trade regulation system that satisfy the strictest trade facilitation requirements have been set up at the free-trade zone (FTZ) in Shanghai, said Han Zheng, Shanghai municipal party committee secretary, at a meeting of the Shanghai Political Consultative Conference yesterday. The FTZ will next develop into one of the most open free-trade areas -- comparable with the world's best FTZs -- and be subjected to necessary testing.
Data shows that, during the past three years, negative entries in the FTZ have dropped by one-third: logistics costs have decreased 10 percent on average, more than 60,000 free-trade accounts have opened, the number of newly-registered companies has outstripped the total number of companies listed during the past 20 years combined, and over 100 reforms and innovations consummated in the FTZ have been introduced to other parts of the country. Moreover, the FTZ only makes up two percent of Shanghai's overall area, but generates 25 percent of the city's total GDP.
Chinese President Xi Jinping recently instructed the Shanghai FTZ to identify its weak links measured against the highest standards, and urged it to set top priorities for its next development phase.