Shanghai FTZ’s financial innovations spread nationwide

Shanghai FTZ’s financial innovations spread nationwide

A large number of financial innovations in the China (Shanghai) Pilot Free Trade Zone (FTZ) have been copied and promoted at other suitable sites across the country, according to local authorities.

They announced that 15 facilitation measures, including centralized operation and management of multinationals' foreign exchange funds, launched by the Shanghai Head Office of the People's Bank of China and the Shanghai Office of State Foreign Exchange Administration have been copied nationwide.

The free trade account system has been promoted at the Hainan FTZ.

Innovative supervision measures such as a characteristic monitoring report on the banking industry and guidance of FTZ business risk evaluation, and measures to streamline administration and delegate powers in the insurance industry have been copied at other FTZs.

A series of enforcement regulations of financial reforms including free trade accounts, cross-border use of renminbi, interest rate liberation, and foreign exchange management have been rolled out by the country's financial watchdogs since the inauguration of the Shanghai FTZ in 2013.

So far, 56 financial institutions in Shanghai have passed the free trade accounting unit (FTU) check of the central bank and have opened 136,000 accounts, covering over 4,000 enterprises in the city.

The cross-border settlement of renminbi totaled 2.55 trillion yuan ($369.59 billion) in the Shanghai FTZ in 2018, accounting for 35.3 percent of the city's total number. The receipts and disbursements of the two-way cross-border renminbi fund pool totaled 482.6 billion yuan, a 1.7-fold increase year on year.

The Shanghai FTZ also built financial supervision and coordination mechanisms that encourage financial innovation and effectively prevent risks, such as a FTZ financial work team, a joint conference for financial supervision, new financial businesses monitoring and analysis platforms, simplified entry procedures for financial institutions and top managers.

To help Shanghai reach its goal of becoming a scientific and technological innovation center, qualified enterprises and individuals outside the Shanghai FTZ such as the city's sci-tech startups having cross-border financial needs have been allowed to open free trade accounts since November 2016.

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