Fri, Sep 06, 2013 - Page 15 News List

Plans call for Shanghai free-trade zone

BOLD PUSH:The plan goes beyond freer trade, financial services and investment, by liberalizing yuan exchange, and is seen by China’s premier as a ‘crowning achievement’

AFP, SHANGHAI

Authorities have ruled out allowing casinos in the FTZ, officials said, a privilege enjoyed by Macau, another of China’s special administrative regions.

Some Shanghai officials opposed the FTZ because ultimate authority will be in the hands of the central government, causing local resentment, the financial industry executive said.

The State Council, China’s Cabinet, gave the FTZ its go-ahead last month and details will be announced after the “overall plan” is approved on Sept. 27, officials said.

China’s parliament will have to approve rules for the zone at its annual meeting in March next year, but the process will be a formality.

Preparation work on the more sensitive financial reforms will take until the second half of next year, according to an official timetable.

“The free-trade zone undertakes China’s vigorous push for structural innovation in the new era, accelerating the transformation of economic development,” the draft plan said.

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