Three new FTZs to test market

Updated: 2014-12-12 19:41


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China is to launch three pilot free trade zones to test greater opening up, a government meeting decided on Friday.

The new FTZs will be set up in coastal provincial areas of Guangdong, Fujian and Tianjin, the executive meeting of China's State Council decided, a year after it set up the pioneering China (Shanghai) Pilot Free Trade Zone.

The three areas will take on what are considered the boldest reform initiatives in decades - those now being applied in the Shanghai FTZ. They will be able to adopt "new reform trials that fit into local characteristics".

Experts said that by taking on Shanghai's trial, the new zones will be able to enjoy easier market access for foreign companies and more financial opening. Previously, the Shanghai FTZ has slashed the so-called negative list by 26.8 percent to 139 areas in July. The negative list is a list that names areas and circumstances where foreign investors are barred. Among the current 139 listed areas, 29 are fully prohibited while the rest are under conditional restriction.

Friday's meeting said the Shanghai FTZ has formed "replicable reform experiences" since its launch a year ago, and the central government has decided to "expand the trial to a greater scope to promote opening-up".

Some 12,000 firms have been established in the Shanghai FTZ since its launch in late September last year. Foreign trade in the zone reached 747.5 billion yuan ($122.25 billion) in its first year of operation, according to Xinhua.