(Yicai Global) Aug. 21 -- China's banks have been quick to move into Lingang New Area, an extension to Shanghai's Free Trade Zone that was added yesterday.
Shanghai Pudong Development Bank has become the first joint-stock commercial bank to establish a presence. Its new branch opened today and will focus on developing a cross-border financial management system for fund transfers, according to the bank's plan. It will also concentrate on clients in cutting-edge sectors such as international trade and global shipping.
State lenders China Construction Bank and Bank of China opened branches yesterday. CCB's will focus on offshore business and fintech innovation, Xu Zhonghua, vice president of the bank's Shanghai unit, told Yicai Global. It will service businesses and innovate systems, procedures, products and service models, he added.
CCB's plan for Lingang centers on firms in integrated circuits, artificial intelligence, biomedicine, civil aviation and environmental protection as well as the FTZ's upcoming Asia Pacific supply chain hub and fund management center.
Covering 120 square kilometers, Lingang New Area will promote the liberalization and facilitation of investment and trade on the basis of the original FTZs. By putting an emphasis on freedom of investment, trade, finance, transport and employment, Lingang will help China to open up further to the global economy.
China set up its first pilot FTZ in Shanghai's Pudong New Area in 2013. By the following year it had grown from the original 29 square kilometers to an area of 121 square kilometers. So far, some 11 pilot FTZs have been established in Shanghai, Guangdong and Tianjin.