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Shanghai FTZ to Further Drive Financial Reforms as It Enters Second Decade

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Shanghai FTZ to Further Drive Financial Reforms as It Enters Second Decade

September 19
18:39 2023

The Shanghai Free Trade Zone, which marks its 10th anniversary this month, is set to embark on a new round of financial reforms and innovation as the rapid growth of China’s foreign trade puts new demands on financial services.

Under a plan drawn up by the Shanghai branch of the People’s Bank of China, the FTZ’s financial reforms will be pushed forward and support given for the high-level opening-up of the financial sector in the wider Pudong New Area as well as efforts made to advance Shanghai’s idea to build a pilot zone for green finance reforms and innovation.

The stepped up internationalization of the Chinese yuan will also further boost settlements made using the currency in the free trade zone, according to the plan.

The fast growth of China’s imports and exports places new demands on financial services, including an ever increasing need for offshore switch trading and international procurement, said Zhang Lei, financial and fund director at Thermo Fisher Scientific China. He predicts a larger coalescence effect as the FTZ, the country’s first, develops.

Bank of China will continue to contribute to the FTS’s financial reforms, enhancing the innovation of financial services and broadening policy application scenarios, said Zhang Xinyuan, deputy head at the lender’s Shanghai branch. 

The lender will play an active part in opening up the FTZ’s financial market, including in Lingang Special Area, and in aiding the yuan’s internationalization, Zhang said. It will also develop its offshore financial business to enable better use of the two markets and two types of resources. There will be exploration of digital innovation in financial services by building more data infrastructure, he added.

HSBC China looks forward to giving further play to its unique services that connect China and the rest of the world, said Yang Donghan, deputy head of the UK lender’s China arm.  

HSBC will seize more opportunities for co-operation under the Belt and Road Initiative as well as the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership, the world’s largest trade grouping, to create more scenarios for the cross-border yuan use and increase the number of channels for cross-border yuan investment and financing, Yang said.

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