Factbox: Main reforms planned for Shanghai free-trade zone

Reuters

(Reuters) - China will open its largely sheltered services sector to competition in a free-trade zone in Shanghai, and test bold financial reforms including a convertible yuan.

Following are some of the potential key reforms listed in a document from the State Council, or cabinet, published on the Chinese government's website.

FINANCE:

BANKING - Private capital can set up joint venture banks with foreign lenders. Non-deposit banks will be permitted in the future when conditions are mature. Chinese banks can conduct offshore business in the zone.

HEALTH INSURANCE - Foreign health and medical insurance institutions will be permitted to operate in the zone on a trial basis.

FINANCIAL LEASING - Financing leasing companies operating one plane or one ship will not be subject to paid-in capital requirements. Financing leasing companies will be permitted to conduct related commercial factoring business.

TRANSPORT:

OCEAN SHIPPING - Foreign partners will be allowed to hold larger stakes in joint venture global shipping enterprises.(The current limit is 49 percent)

INTERNATIONAL SHIPPING MANAGEMENT - Foreign firms can set up solely-funded international shipping management companies.

COMMERCE AND SERVICE:

VALUE-ADDED TELECOMS - Foreign banks will be permitted to operate some specialised value-added telecommunications services. Those not meeting China's existing laws and regulations will need special State Council permission.

GAME MACHINES - Foreign companies can produce game machines, which after approval by Chinese censors, they can also sell in China.

PROFESSIONAL SERVICES:

LEGAL SERVICES - China will study the methodology and mechanisms for cooperation between Chinese legal offices and their foreign counterparts (including Hong Kong and Macau).

CREDIT INFORMATION - Foreign companies can set up credit information firms in the zone.

TOURISM - Joint venture tourist agencies located in the zone will be allowed to conduct overseas tourist business, with the exception of Taiwan.

HUMAN RESOURCES - Foreigners may own up to 70 percent of joint venture recruiting firms, while Hong Kong and Macau investors can set up solely-funded recruiting firms. The requirement for paid-in capital for foreign-funded firms will be reduced to $125,000 from $300,000 currently.

INVESTMENT MANAGEMENT - Foreign-funded shareholding investment companies are permitted in the zone.

CULTURAL SERVICES:

ENTERTAINMENT VENUES - Foreigners can set up wholly-owned entertainment venues to offer entertainment services in the zone.

SOCIAL SERVICES:

EDUCATION, JOB TRAINING - Joint-venture educational and job-training institutions are allowed.

MEDICAL SERVICES - Solely foreign-owned medical service institutions are allowed.

(Reporting by Lu Jianxin and Pete Sweeney; Editing by Ian Geoghegan)

View Comments