Liberalised forex control in the Shanghai free-trade zone

Up until launch of the China (Shanghai) pilot free-trade zone (SHFTZ), measures pushing forward reform of the foreign exchange (forex) control regime had been long awaited by the business community.

Compared with other topics that relate more to specific industries (for example investment access), the topic of forex control liberalisation is of a more generic nature that might have an impact on all companies operating in China. Although such reform and the general direction for which it shall be heading have already been addressed under the General Plan for the SHFTZ announced by the State Council on 27 September 2013 and the Opinions on Financial Support to Construction of the SHFTZ promulgated by the People’s Bank of China on 2 December 2013, detailed rules for implementation came very slowly.

On 27 February 2014, the Shanghai branch of the State Administration of Foreign Exchange (SAFE) promulgated the Implementing Rules on Foreign Exchange Control to Support the Construction of the SHFTZ (Circular 26). Circular 26 in general facilitates business transactions and creates new possibilities for international business to streamline their financial operations and financing arrangements concerning China. Below are the major highlights of such new development…

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