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Chinas first steps in free trade zone operating

Chinas first steps in free trade zone operatingChinese government will relax restrictions on foreign enterprises investing in its fledgling free trade zones (FTZs). China wants to attract more overseas capital, temporarily allowing foreign investors to found wholly-owned enterprises in a number of fields, including iron and steel production and gas station operations, according to the central government website on Tuesday.

The resolution will be valid in the Shanghai, Guangdong, Tianjin and Fujian FTZs. The temporary adjustment of regulations for administrative approvals was passed by the National People's Congress Standing Committee.

The adjustment contains a total of 51 items, with more than 20 of them involving changes from administrative approval to managerial registration for foreign investment.

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It also approved wholly foreign owned enterprises in dozens of areas outside of the negative list on foreign investment, covering sectors ranging from agriculture to transportation.

"The move is another step in China's reforms to open up its domestic market and to support free trade zone development," said Liao Qun, China chief economist at Citic Bank International in Hong Kong.
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