Shang­hai set for re­view of free trade zone re­forms

China Daily (Canada) - - BUSINESS - By GAO CHANGXIN gaochangxin@ chi­nadaily.com.cn

Shang­hai will soon con­duct the first re­view of its ground­break­ing trial zone for re­forms, said Shang­hai’s Party chief Han Zheng on Thurs­day. The re­viewwill en­sure that the city comes up with a set of win­ning prac­tices for use na­tion­wide by the first an­niver­sary of the China (Shang­hai) Pi­lot Free Trade Zone, which opened in Septem­ber last year, Han told a news con­fer­ence dur­ing the on­go­ing meet­ing of the Na­tional People’s Congress.

In three years, he added, the zone will have a com­plete pol­icy frame­work ready for na­tional ap­pli­ca­tion.

The zone, which Bei­jing plans to use as a spear­head for sweep­ing eco­nomic re­forms over the next 10 years, is also up­dat­ing its “neg­a­tive list” to make it more trans­par­ent and con­cise.

The list, a key re­form in the zone, shows sec­tors where for­eign in­vest­ment is banned or re­stricted within the zone. There are no re­stric­tions for any­thing not on the list.

Cur­rently, all for­eign in­vest­ments in China re­quire ad­min­is­tra­tive ap­proval.

Han’s com­ments came a day af­ter Pres­i­dent Xi Jin­ping joined a panel dis­cus­sion by Shang­hai law­mak­ers on Wed­nes­day. In a speech, Xi urged Shang­hai to make bold re­for­m­movesin theFTZ and­come­u­pas early as pos­si­ble with poli­cies ap­pli­ca­ble na­tion­wide.

Xi also cau­tioned against risks, es­pe­cially fi­nan­cial risks, in­volved with lib­er­al­iz­ing re­forms.

“Stress tests should also be car­ried out to pre­vent sys­temic risks, es­pe­cially from the fi­nan­cial sec­tor,” Xin­hua News Agency quoted Xi as say­ing.

As part of its fi­nan­cial re­forms, the zone will soon launch the na­tion’s first in­ter­na­tional mar­ket for gold trad­ing, ac­cord­ing to Xu Luode, chair­man of the Shang­hai Gold Ex­change.

Xu said the mar­ket may be launched in the first half of the year, and trad­ing will be con­ducted in yuan. He didn’t elab­o­rate on what prod­ucts will be on of­fer or which in­vestors are el­i­gi­ble.

“The in­ter­na­tional mar­ket will help China in­crease its in­flu­ence on global gold prices,” said Xu.

The Shang­hai Gold Ex­change is the world’s big­gest phys­i­cal gold ex­change. All buy­ing and sell­ing of spot bul­lion in China must be con­ducted through the ex­change.

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