New center set to trade crude oil futures

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The Shanghai International Energy Trade Center, to be officially unveiled inside the city's pilot free trade zone today, will be a platform for the long-awaited crude oil futures trading, a senior official said Thursday.

"After the establishment of the center, preparations for crude oil futures trading will be accelerated," Shanghai Vice Mayor Zhou Bo said at the second China International Oil and Gas Trade Congress held in the city yesterday.

With a registered capital of 5 billion yuan (US$821 million), the center has been the largest financial company set up in the FTZ so far. It is jointly funded by the Shanghai Futures Exchange and the Shanghai Futures Information Technology Co.

The new center will become China's fifth national futures exchange after the Shanghai Futures Exchange, the Zhengzhou Commodity Exchange, the Dalian Commodity Exchange and the China Financial Futures Exchange.

Wang Shouwen, assistant commerce minister, said at the congress that China will continue to transform its energy production and utilization method in order to achieve a green and low-carbon growth.

"China plays an important role in balancing the supply and demand of the world's energy market," Wang said.

"We should bring the market into full play and reduce influences of non-economic factors."

During the country's 11th Five-Year Plan period from 2006 to 2010, China's energy intensity per unit of gross domestic product fell by 19.1 percent while the economy grew 11.2 percent annually, Wang said.

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