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Legal Update

The China (Shanghai) Pilot Free Trade Zone Opens: A Bold Milestone in China's Economic Reform Journey

30 September 2013
Mayer Brown JSM Legal Update

The China (Shanghai) Pilot Free Trade Zone (FTZ) was declared open yesterday amid much anticipation from Chinese and foreign businesses.

Hot on the heels of the Grand Opening, this morning saw the issuance of a "Negative List" and at least five sets of FTZ regulations. The Negative List includes prohibited and restricted businesses; any business not on the list requires no approval but must file for the purposes of records. The five sets of regulations relate to the administrative measures of the FTZ Management Committee, and to the filing of enterprises and projects both of foreign investors as well as of Chinese enterprises investing overseas.

The FTZ consists of Waigaoqiao Free Trade Zone, Waigaoqiao Free Trade Logistics Park, Yangshan Free Trade Port Area, and Pudong Airport Comprehensive Free Trade Zone, and covers an area of nearly 29 square kilometres in Shanghai.

Two days earlier, on 27 September, the China State Council released the Overall Plan for China (Shanghai) Pilot Free Trade Zone ("Overall Plan").

According to the Overall Plan, the FTZ has been designed as an experimental platform for the Chinese government to transform its functions in the new era, to actively explore the innovation of management patterns, to promote the facilitation of trade and investment, and to explore new channels and accumulate new experience for overall deepening of economic reform and opening-up.

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