In a move underlining the leading role Shanghai will play in the country’s economic future, the cabinet has formally endorsed the city’s plan to open the mainland’s first free-trade zone.
The free port will be a testing ground for major policy reforms to free up cross-border commodity and capital flows.
The State Council said in a statement after a meeting chaired by Premier Li Keqiang that the free-tradezone would be a snapshot of an “ upgraded Chinese economy “.
“ The approval will help China gain new advantages in global competition, “ the cabinet statement said. “ It will help build a new platform for economic co-operation with other countries and pave the way for further economic growth. “
Initially, Shanghai will upgrade and expand its existing four bonded areas, where goods can be imported, processed and re-exported without the intervention of customs authorities.
Government officials said the free-trade zone would eventually become a large territory and undertake financial liberalization.
~ SCMP, July 4, 2013 ~