Tianjin applies for China's second FTZ

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North China's Tianjin is applying for the a free trade zone of its own after the first such zone went operational late last month in Shanghai.

Zong Guoying, head of the Tianjin Binhai New Area (BNA), confirmed to Xinhua on Thursday that the BNA had completed a draft plan for the zone, and all documentation was with the central government.

"We are optimistic that the plan will get approval but we are not certain," said Zong, also the vice mayor of Tianjin.

"No matter what, we will continue to open up," Zong said, noting that the Tianjin BNA would explore a "negative list" approach for investment.

The proposed Tianjin free trade zone will be centered on the Tianjin Dongjiang Bonded Area, which covers an area of abut 10 square kilometers.

The Shanghai pilot free trade zone kicked off on Sept. 29 to test market reform. Upgrade of the bonded area into an FTZ is already listed by Tianjin as a priority for 2013.

Zhou Liqun, a professor with Nankai University who studies coastal development, said Tianjin FTZ would needs to progress step by step.

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