|A bird's-eye view of the Shanghai Waigaoqiao Free Trade Zone. CHEN FEI / XINHUA|
Major policy changes designed to facilitate China's economic restructuring
The central government unveiled on Friday the first batch of initiatives in a general plan that set the tone and scale of the China (Shanghai) Pilot Free Trade Zone, which is expected to help shape the economic landscape in years to come.
These initiatives touch on some key sectors of the economy, including finance, commerce and industry. Some of them represent major policy changes to facilitate the economic restructuring that is deemed necessary to ensure sustainable growth.
Since the idea was first broached earlier this year, the FTZ has caught the imagination of the business community because of its promise of changes that will bring new opportunities to domestic and foreign enterprises.
It is seen as a bold step in economic reform that will redefine the role of government and further open up the economy to the private sector.
Shanghai stands to benefit the most because it is expected to play host to an expanding financial services sector and become a regional hub for trade and commerce.