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A Timeline of the Establishment of Shanghai FTZ

Mar. 27 - 29

Li Keqiang encourages setting up FTZ in Shanghai
During his three-day visit to Jiangsu and Shanghai, Chinese Premier Li Keqiang encouraged Shanghai to set up a pilot free trade zone to further open up. "It is time for the country to choose a new opening pilot area. Shanghai is qualified for the pilot program and reforms should be promoted the process of opening up in the city," he said.

May 11

Consensus reached on overall plan
Shanghai Mayor Yang Xiong and Commerce Minister Gao Hucheng jointly held the first joint work team meeting of the China (Shanghai) Free Trade Pilot Zone. Consensus was reached on the content frame of the overall plan.

May 29

MOFCOM solicit comments on overall plan
China's Ministry of Commerce issued letters to 25 relevant government organs to solicit comments on the overall plan of the Shanghai FTZ.

Jun. 28

Shanghai finalizes overall plan
Shanghai authorities finalized the overall plan of the Shanghai FTZ and send to relevant government ministries and commissions to be countersigned.

Jul. 12

Shanghai vows to speed up building FTZ
Shanghai Party chief Han Zheng proposed during the fourth meeting of the Shanghai Committee of the Communist Party of China to accelerate the building of the China (Shanghai) Pilot Free Trade Zone and referred to the task as one of Shanghai's key projects in the second half of the year.

Sept. 24

FTZ road signs set up
The road sign that reads "Gate No.2 of Waigaoqiao Free Trade Zone" at Shanghai's Yanggao Beilu was replaced with one that reads "China (Shanghai) Pilot Free Trade Zone".

Sept. 29

Shanghai FTZ officially launched
The Shanghai FTZ was officially launched at 10:00 am on September 29.

Apr. 11

Shanghai starts the mobilization and deployment
Shanghai Party chief Han Zheng and mayor Yang Xiong reported to Chinese vice Premier Wang Yang on the establishment of a free trade zone (FTZ) in Shanghai. After communicating with relevant ministries and commissions, Shanghai started the mobilization and deployment process.

May 2

Shanghai research on FTZ details
The Shanghai municipal government held a special meeting on FTZ and ordered relevant departments to conduct in-depth research on the intension of the FTZ, sectors to be opened up, the FTZ’s administrative system, and form an overall plan as soon as possible.

Jun. 27

State Council coordinates
The State Council held a special meeting to coordinate policies and measures proposed in the overall plan of the Shanghai FTZ.

Jul. 3

State Council approves overall plan
The State Council approved the "Overall Plan for China (Shanghai) Pilot Free Trade Zone".

Aug. 22

State Council approves settting up FTZ
The State Council approved the establishment of a pilot free trade zone in Shanghai. Covering 28.78 square kilometers, the new zone will be built on the basis of existing bonded zones -- Waigaoqiao Free Trade Zone, Waigaoqiao Free Trade Logistics Park, Yangshan Free Trade Port Area and Pudong Airport Comprehensive Free Trade Zone.

Sept. 27

State Council announces overall plan
The State Council announced the "Overall Plan for China (Shanghai) Pilot Free Trade Zone", which contains five major tasks and measures to open up six service sectors.
Q & A for Shanghai FTZ
Question: What is the bonded zone?
Answer: A bonded zone is a special trade zone created within domestic areas. It has special arrangements for customs duties, import/export duties and several supervision approaches. For example, foreign goods can enter the region without paying duties, be kept bonded. The manufacturing and trade inside the zone can be exempt from value added and sales taxes.
Question: What will happen when cargo comes to the zone?
Answer: When freight reaches the zone, under the bonded status, it can be developed, processed, stored, exhibited, redid, categorized and mixed. It can be imported into China after paying duties or shipped out of China without paying duties.
Question: What is the difference between a free trade zone (FTZ) and free trade area (FTA)?

A free trade zone (FTZ) is an area set up in a sole country or region within which goods may be landed, handled, manufactured or reconfigured, and re-exported without the intervention of customs authorities. It is set up with the aims of lowering international trade cost and boosting export and international investment.

A free-trade area is a trade bloc whose member countries have signed a free-trade agreement (FTA), eliminating tariffs, import quotas and preferences on most (if not all) goods and services traded between them. It is a win-win trade policy for all parties involved.

Question: How big is the Shanghai FTZ?
Answer: It covers an area of 28.78 square kilometers, almost the size of Macao (29.9 square kilometers).
Question: When was the first bonded zone set up on the Chinese mainland?
Answer: The Waigaoqiao Free Trade Zone, which was set up in Shanghai in 1990, is the first bonded zone on the Chinese mainland. In 2012, the zone completed a fixed investment of 2.536 billion yuan, while its total fixed assets throughout the years were valued at 43.8 billion yuan. The zone has roads of a total 67 kilometers in length and public greenbelts covering 350,000 square meters, as well as construction areas of 8.25 million square meters.
Question: When there is already a bonded zone in China, why create a free trade zone now?
Answer: The bonded zone is helpful for the free trade of goods, yet the free trade zone particularly emphasizes expanding the opening-up of the service industry.
Question: Where is the Shanghai Pilot Free Trade Zone?

It consists of the four following existing bonded zones:

- Waigaoqiao Free Trade Zone;

- Waigaoqiao Free Trade Logistics Park;

- Pudong Airport Comprehensive Free Trade Zone;

- Yangshan Free Trade Port Area.

Question: What are the tasks for the Shanghai FTZ?

Accelerate the function and obligation transformation of the government;

- Further open up investment sectors;

- Pushforward the transformation for trade development approaches;

- Deepen the opening-up of the financial services sector;

- Improve and perfect the legal system


FTZ negative list to shrink by June标题图片

38 overseas firms set up in free trade zone标题图片

Shanghai FTZ reform in full swingShanghai FTZ reform in full swing

Stricter anti-money laundering rules in FTZ标题图片

Binhai tipped to be next free trade zone标题图片