China opens Shanghai Free Trade Zone

|By:, SA News Editor

China has officially opened the Shanghai Free Trade Zone (FTZ), which the government sees as a major step in liberalizing the country's economy and enacting other reforms.

The FTZ will be used as a place to test those reforms, such as with the convertibility of the yuan.

Twenty-five companies have received approval to establish operations in the zone, including Citigroup (C). Banks are expected to have more leeway in setting interest rates, while foreign institutions will be able to issue bonds in the domestic market. The government also intends to create an international oil futures trading platform.

Overseas firms will be able to manufacture video-game consoles in the FTZ and sell them in China.

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