Jul 11, 2018 (China Knowledge) - The Shanghai Municipal government announced in a conference on Tuesday, revealing the city's action plan to further proliferate the city's opening up, according to an official wechat release by the Information Office of the Shanghai Municipal People's Government. The plan includes 100 initiatives in five key areas, including finance, intellectual property rights and the business environment.
The announcement stated that the city will focus on eight domains of work, including efforts to promote the agglomeration of financial institutions and the opening of financial markets. It will not only greatly expand the scope, channels and scale of overseas investors' participation, but also promote connectivity with overseas financial markets. Other domains include boosting its financial products and business innovation, enhancing financial support to the real economy, and strengthening financial supervision.
Shanghai is looking to further deepen the reform and opening up of the China (Shanghai) Pilot Free Trade Zone (FTZ). The city aims to accelerate the implementation of the negative list for investment in the FTZ, while it actively attracts foreign investment, and deepen reform in innovation-driven development. Efforts will be made to expand the opening up of modern service industries and advanced manufacturing industries and actively introducing foreign capital into the field of professional services as the city seeks to vigorously cultivate professional talents and match the standards of professional services with the international level. With the country's "Made in China 2025" strategy in mind, foreign capital will also be welcomed to enter industries such as automobile, aircraft, automobile and shipping to enhance its advanced manufacturing industry.
In addition, the city will focus on strengthening intellectual property (IP) protection. The measures to help protect intellectual property include enhancing the judicial and administrative routes, cracking down on intellectual property infringements, improving its overseas IP protection and participating actively in the global governance in intellectual property rights.
In line with the country's current opening-up policy, the city also revealed broad measures to open up its financial sector further by substantially relaxing the foreign market access of the banking industry and canceling the restrictions on the foreign shareholding in banks and financial asset management companies in Shanghai. At the same time, there will be greater support for foreign banks, allowing them to set up branches and subsidiary banks in Shanghai and enabling the commercial banks to establish financial asset investment and wealth management companies in Shanghai without foreign ownership restrictions.
Shanghai will support foreign banks which have established several branches in its city to conduct renminbi (RMB) business and derivatives trading business activities and encourage foreign investment into the banking financial fields such as Shanghai Trust, financial leasing, auto finance, money brokerage services and consumer finance. The plan also revealed that Shanghai will strive to speed up the lifting of the cap on foreign shareholding in securities institutions and phase out the business scope restrictions of joint venture securities companies by allowing them to engage in brokerage, consulting and other businesses. Earlier this year, the country raised the cap on foreign shareholding in fund management, securities and futures companies was raised to 51% from its original 49% limit on foreign ownership.
The Shanghai-London Stock Connect, which enables companies from China to sell global depository receipts in U.K and allows London-listed firms to list securities in Shanghai, will strive to take effect this year. Other plans include expanding the qualified domestic limited partner (QDLP) pilot program to support greater participation of foreign-funded institutions in order to facilitate investment overseas as well as accelerating the development of Shanghai International Energy Exchange (INE) through the launch of more commodity derivative products.
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