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Shanghai free-trade zone

Shanghai free-trade zone (FTZ) is the first Hong Kong-like free trade area in mainland China. The plan was first announced by the government in July and it was personally endorsed by Premier Li Keqiang who said he wanted to make the zone a snapshot of how China can upgrade its economic structure. Other mainland cities and provinces including Tianjin and Guangdong have also lobbied Beijing for such approvals. The Shanghai FTZ will first span 28.78 square kilometres in the city's Pudong New Area, including the Waigaoqiao duty-free zone and Yangshan port and it is believed it may eventually expand to cover the entire Pudong district which covers 1,210.4 sq km of land.

Firms operating in the FTZ are not having an easy ride as currency curbs limit their options. Photo: Xinhua

Policy U-turn dashes FTZ firms’ hopes

After three years of development, Shanghai’s free-trade zone (FTZ) has refrained from delivering gleeful observations about its achievement.