Free-trade zone — new frontier for foreign investment in China

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By Woon-Wah Siu, Julian Zou and Eric Zhang

On 29 September, 2013, China launched the mainland’s first free-trade zone (FTZ) in Shanghai. The initiative is intended to be a pilot programme to provide a blueprint of how China will reform its economic structure. The FTZ is an area of approximately 29km² located in Shanghai’s Pudong New District, including the Waigaoqiao Bonded Zone, Waigaoqiao Bonded Logistics Zone, Pudong Airport Free Trade Zone and Yangshan Bonded Port.

As expected of a free-trade zone, customs formalities are greatly simplified for goods imported into the FTZ. Goods imported by companies in the FTZ may be exempted from import tax.

Certain administrative regulations and provisions, including the Law on Sino-Foreign Equity Joint Ventures, the Law on Sino-Foreign Cooperative Joint Ventures and the Law on Wholly Foreign Owned Enterprises, are terminated for a trial period of three years starting from 1 October 2013 and will be ‘adjusted’…

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