Liberalized financial measures to enhance FTZ

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Shanghai will implement liberalized financial measures in the free trade zone in a year and will support openness in ensuring economic development, according to the local headquarters of the central bank Monday.

“Financial reform in the pilot zone is not in the past tense, nor the future tense, but the present tense,” Zhang Xin, the head of the Shanghai headquarters of the People’s Bank of China, said in a statement yesterday.

“In about a year, we will implement new financial measures that can be copied and extended in other areas.”

His comments were made after the PBOC on Monday outlined a set of 30 new measures for the free trade zone covering the management of free trade accounts, facilitating cross-border investment and transactions, expanding yuan cross-border usage, promoting interest rate liberalization, and simplifying foreign exchange management.

China will for the first time allow free fund transfer between free trade zone and offshore bank accounts, let qualified foreigners working in the zone to trade domestic equities, enable qualified residents in the zone to invest in the foreign securities market, and allow foreign companies with branches in the zone to issue yuan bonds onshore.

“Our aim is not digging a lowland to attract companies with preferential policies, nor building an offshore center, but creating a wide playing field with open financial operations that can effectively serve the needs of economic development,” Zhang said.

The government will ensure financial reforms in the zone focus on facilitating investment and trade, promoting headquarters economy, and smooth the way for financial and foreign exchange transactions to support economic activities in the zone.

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