China’s Ministry of Commerce has announced plans to establish six new pilot free-trade zones (FTZs), as well as the expansion of the Shanghai free-trade zone.
The move will further optimize the country’s FTZ strategy, according to the ministry’s spokesperson Gao Feng. He said China has been opening up more sectors of the economy as it is committed to providing better services and environment for foreign investors. Authorities have been easing market access in agriculture, mining, manufacturing industries and services.
The improvement of the business environment will help further stimulate market innovation and drive economic growth, Gao said.
China’s foreign direct investment surged four percent year-on-year to $139 billion in 2018.
“As China’s economy is transitioning to a phase of high-quality growth, the country needs to further open up its economy,” said Li Gang, director of the academic committee of the Chinese Academy of International Trade and Economic Cooperation, as quoted by China Daily.
In March, the country revealed plans to set up a national offshore pilot trade area at the Yangpu economic development zone (EDZ) in South China’s Hainan Province. The new offshore area will promote investment-facilitation policies in areas such as trade, finance and local currency settlement.
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