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Cover Stories Series 2014> Reform Initiatives Underway for 2015> Retrospect> Feature
UPDATED: October 13, 2014 NO. 42 OCTOBER 16, 2014
The Frontline of Reform
One year on from its establishment, how is Shanghai's free trade zone doing thus far?
By Zhou Xiaoyan


Changes Brought About by the Shanghai FTZ

Game consoles—The PlayStation 4 or Xbox One are available through official channels in the Shanghai FTZ, after authorities lifted a decade-long ban on the production and sale of games consoles.

Foreign hospitals—Hospitals solely funded by foreign investors are allowed in the FTZ. Over 20 foreign hospitals are waiting to grab a share of China's massive healthcare market.

Overseas education—Foreign-funded trading institutions and vocational schools are allowed in the Shanghai FTZ, which allows ordinary Chinese to attain an overseas education without leaving the country.

Cheaper online shopping—Chinese consumers are able to buy U.S. products directly from Amazon.com, as the e-commerce giant plans to launch a direct mailing shopping website in the fourth quarter and to build warehouses and distribution centers in the FTZ.

Trading gold—Foreign investors are allowed to participate in China's bullion trading market in the FTZ, following the establishment of an international board of the Shanghai Gold Exchange.

Ease of setting up a company—Registering for a startup only takes four days in the FTZ.

Banking services—Opening a free trade account in a bank in the FTZ allows people to borrow yuan from the overseas market at a cost that is 20 percent lower than the domestic market.

Duty-free assembly—Manufacturers can now ship parts to the FTZ for assembly, enjoying the lower labor costs in China, and then export them or sell them in Chinese market. The entire process is duty-free.

Call centers—Foreign investors are now permitted to set up call centers in the FTZ.

Hiring foreign lawyers—The general plan for the FTZ promises intensified cooperation between Chinese and foreign law firms.

(Compiled by Beijing Review)

Shanghai FTZ's First Year

September 18: The Shanghai Gold Exchange launches Gold International Board.

September 16: Detailed guidelines released to support capital markets.

July 1: The 2014 version of the negative list is introduced, with restrictions cut by more than 25 percent.

May 22: The PBC releases detailed rules for a free trade account system in the FTZ.

March 1: The PBC removes the upper limit of deposit rate for small-amount deposits in foreign currencies.

February 18, 2014: Cross-border yuan payments introduced for institutions.

December 28: Cross-border e-commerce platform starts trial run.

December 2: The People's Bank of China announces guidelines to support the financial sector in the FTZ.

November 22: Shanghai International Energy Exchange is inaugurated in the FTZ.

October 9: Procedures simplified for FTZ customs declarations.

September 30: Release of the 2013 version of the negative list.

Sept 29, 2013: Official launch of the China (Shanghai) Pilot Free Trade Zone.

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