Reduced restrictions on foreign investment in Shanghai pilot free-trade zone

By Yi Yi Wu and Yulan Guo

After launching the Shanghai pilot free-trade zone (FTZ) nine months ago, the Shanghai government has released the Special Administrative Measures on Foreign Investment Access to the China (Shanghai) Pilot Free Trade Zone (Negative List) (the 2014 Revision) (‘2014 Negative List’). The list seeks to reinforce the requirements that were set out in 2013 and further relax controls on foreign investment into China.

The content of the negative list will continue to be adjusted to increase access for foreign investment. Meanwhile, relevant state government departments, including the Ministry of Transport, the People’s Bank of China, the State Administration of Foreign Exchange and the State Administration of Taxation, have or are set to release administrative regulations or rules to facilitate the reforms in the FTZ and the implementation of the 2014 Negative List. Due to the success of the reforms, we believe similar reforms will be replicated in other regions in future.

Generally speaking, the 2014 Negative List expands foreign access to more sectors by reducing the number of its controlled items from 190 in the 2013 Negative List to 139. Looking through the restructure of the list, the following points summarise the key changes…

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