BEIJING (Xinhua) – China has expanded its free trade zone (FTZ) in Shanghai and established 3 new zones with eased investment rules to speed up reforms amid economic hardship.
The new zones and expansion of the Shanghai pilot zone were authorised during the bi-monthly meeting of the National People’s Congress on Sunday.
Government approvals will end as a precondition for overseas companies setting up ventures or changing their purpose of business in these zones. Instead the companies only need to file a report to the authorities, according to the meeting.
The adjustment will take effect in March and will last for three years, after which official assessment will decide whether the policy should continue.
The move met market expectations that restriction on foreign capital will be gradually scrapped and marked the latest efforts by the central government to push its reform drive and stimulate the economy.
Policy makers vowed more efforts to reform and open up during a top-level economic policy meeting in the beginning of the month, which means foreign companies can expect more opportunities with widening market access.
China has managed to keep a steady but safe pace in opening its market to global competitors in order to shore up economy and avoid mistakes, which, even if small, could be costly to the world’s second largest economy.