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Shanghai FTZ Aspires To Be 'Belt And Road' Financing Hub

by Lorys Charalambous, Lowtax.net, Cyprus
16 October, 2017

The City of Shanghai and its free trade zone, the Shanghai Pilot Free Trade Zone, are stepping up efforts to become the financing hub of China's "Belt and Road" initiative.

The Belt and Road plan was launched in 2013 to boost economic links by land and sea between China and 60 countries across Central Asia, the Middle East, Eastern Europe, Southeast Asia, and Africa. By 2050, it is hoped these regions will account for 80 percent of global GDP growth, and three billion more people will be advanced into the "middle class."

Reforms put in place to make Shanghai the Belt and Road financing center include aligning policies and rules with those in Belt and Road countries, enhancing shipping, air, and railway connections with Europe, and Asia, and accelerating construction of a new free trade port.

Shanghai is also stepping up efforts to be a global yuan financial service center. To this end, it is moving ahead with the second phase of the China International Payment System, which facilitates cross-border payment and clearance in yuan.

Shanghai is also looking to raise its profile in the fields of technology, culture, and academic exchange. It is aiming to build 20 joint labs and research centers with Belt and Road countries in the next five years, and bring more than 400 outstanding young scientists to work in the city for up to a year at a time. Six think tank projects by universities in Shanghai have been selected to advise and offer analysis for Belt and Road policies.

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