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FTZ Policies Boost Foreign Investments

MORE foreign investors are participating in Shanghai’s pilot free trade zone this year as they tap the zone’s reform policies, an FTZ official said yesterday.

In the first 10 months of this year, 2,628 foreign-funded companies were set up in the zone, taking up 22 percent of the total newly established companies, Zhu Min, deputy director of the FTZ administration, told a media briefing.

“The proportion was up from 5 percent two years ago when the zone was set up, indicating improving foreign confidence about the zone’s investment environment,” Zhu said.

Outbound investments by domestic firms via the FTZ totaled 16.8 billion yuan (US$2.6 billion) in the January-October period, accounting for 41 percent of the city’s total.

The FTZ has also launched overseas financing and foreign currency services under the Free Trade Account system.

Between January and October, 36 financial institutions opened 36,220 free trade accounts for clients. Overseas financing totaled 70 billion yuan in the period, official data showed.

Zhu said the FTZ will further shorten the length of the negative list for foreign investment to promote financial innovation.

The zone will soon release a document outlining measures to leverage the FTZ policies to facilitate technology innovation, as part of efforts to support Shanghai’s ambition to build itself into an innovation center.

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