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Shanghai FTZ Mulls New Reforms

New series of reform measures are in the pipeline for the pilot Shanghai Free Trade Zone (FTZ) which, having a good start, has been running steadily, according to Deputy Secretary-General of Shanghai Municipal Government and Deputy Director of the FTZ’s Management Committee, Sun Jiwei.

Pudong will focus on four priorities to propel itself to the ranks of international financial centres in the coming period.

First, to step up the clustering of heavyweight, international and functional financial institutions. Pudong has been selected as the headquarters of BRICS New Development Bank. Efforts are being made to locate the planned Shanghai insurance exchange and national trust products registration centre in Pudong as well.

Second, to promote the establishment of a financial market system. A trading, clearing and settlement platform for gold, foreign exchange, equity, debt, futures, insurance products, bulk commodities and shipping financial derivatives inside and outside China will be established and improved in the FTZ. A "strategic emerging industries board" will be opened in the Shanghai Stock Exchange and efforts will be taken for the establishment of a technology innovation board in Shanghai Equity Exchange;

Third, to increase support for technology innovation from the financial sector. An innovative state-owned venture capital management mechanism will be adopted by expanding the size of government guiding funds and guiding the increase in private investment, including the establishment of a financial services innovation demonstration area targeting the technology sector. Technology parks and financial institutions will be encouraged to jointly promote financial products innovation and service model innovation to better serve the technology sector. The authorities are also considering setting up an investment bank in the Zhangjiang High-tech Park;

Fourth, to develop new finance. A new finance launchpad will be set up in the Tangdong headquarters base while a venture capital cluster is planned for Beicai district, gathering a group of venture capital funds closely related to technology innovation.

On investment facilitation, "centralised registration" pilot will be launched in the FTZ, starting from Lujiazui, Jinqiao and Zhangjiang and radiating to Expo area, Lingang area, Chuansha new town and Beicai town. The exit mechanism of market player will be simplified, pilots for simplified deregistration reform will be initiated nationwide for individually-owned businesses, enterprises not having started operation and those with no debts. The "single window" system of company registration is extended from processing of setting up of domestic enterprises to changes of registration details. Customs’ one window acceptance of foreign enterprises is also expanded from joint processing of five certificates to seven certificates to include customs declaration unit registration certificate and certificate of approval. At present, a batch of foreign enterprises have received their customs declaration unit registration certificates through single-window processing.

On trade facilitation, international trade "single window" pilot reform will be deepened in the FTZ. Currently, with the three modules of company credentials, trade licensing and tax handling having been added to the single window application, all of the single window operation is expected to go on-line by the end of June. In addition, the authorities will deepen cargo status supervision by category on a pilot basis, launching ancillary support measures with a view to achieving large-scale operation.

Content provided by Picture: HKTDC Research
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