March 17, 2017

Report: FTZ leads in reform, faces new challenges

Shanghai Pilot Free Trade Zone has generated successful reform practices for other places to follow but it is also facing some new challenges, according to the 2017 Pudong Economic Development Report released recently.

The zone accelerated financial reform by implementing 40 measures based on the guidelines of the central government and promoted financial innovation. It has attracted a number of influential financial institutions, including the Shanghai Insurance Exchange.

The zone also adopted the version 2 of the “single window” foreign trade system characterized by simplified clearance, payment, and tax refund procedures. As a result, companies’ logistics costs are slashed by half from the 2015 level.

Lujiazui area continues to attract financial institutions, particularly those in financial information services and Internet financing business; Jinqiao area is focusing on new energy vehicles, intelligent manufacturing, and emerging industries; while Zhangjiang area registered a 10.5 percent and 17.8 percent growth in manufacturing and service industries respectively.

The Expo Site attracted more than 550 companies in the first half of 2016, exceeding the annual total of 530 in 2015. Majority of them are in finance, trade, technology and cultural sectors.

However, the report said private enterprises and small startups are not satisfied with the policy environment in the zone and more efforts need to be made to adjust and improve existing policies.