UK firms support China Free Trade Zones development

TheCityUK and the China-Britain Business Council (CBBC) have deepened their engagement in China’s economic reform plans, presenting a new series of expert working papers on the approaches China could take to develop its landmark Free Trade Zone (FTZ) policy and the Shanghai Pilot FTZ.

The FTZ working papers, developed on request from Chinese officials by leading UK-based firms from across the financial and related professional services industry, will be presented by the Chancellor, George Osborne, to Chinese Vice Premier Ma Kai during his visit for the UK-China Economic Financial Dialogue.

Sir Gerry Grimstone, Chairman of TheCityUK, said,

The development of Chinese Free Trade Zones is enormously significant and once established, they will be an important catalyst for economic reform that impacts not only China but trade and investment flows across the rest of the world. The series of Free Trade Zones papers being prepared by TheCityUK and CBBC provide valuable business insights from leading international firms.

The latest eight FTZ working papers published provide an international business perspective on the following themes:

Afterwards Regulation – a series of three papers on regulating a FTZ:

Regulating a Free Trade Zone - Ensuring the success of the Shanghai Free Trade Zone through effective competition, by King & Wood Mallesons
Regulating a Free Trade Zone - Improving the governance of companies, by PwC
Regulating a Free Trade Zone - Simplifying data collection and improving transparency, by Grant Thornton

Legal Frameworks, by Freshfields, examines the appropriateness of existing commercial legal frameworks for FTZs and considers how arbitration and recourse to the legal system can be improved.

Reform of the Mixed Economy: A Comparison with International Practice, by UBS, considers the limitations of running a mixed economy in the present Chinese context and how in a market economy, the government should incentivise and promote appropriate firm-level behaviour.

Intellectual Property (IP), by Freshfields, examines some of the key areas for policymakers to consider in the future development of IP structures in the Shanghai FTZ and contrasts existing Chinese practice with that of the UK and Europe. This paper was discussed on 4 September at a seminar in Shanghai.

Developing a Private Health Insurance Market in the Shanghai FTZ, by BUPA, offers experiences from international healthcare markets with varying degrees of established and emerging private healthcare systems as an aid to developing policies and regulations for the healthcare sector in the Shanghai FTZ.

China Free Trade Zones and Policy Implications for Liberalisation via a Free Trade Agreement, by TheCityUK, discusses how, using a Negative List approach, maximum market-opening for financial and related professional services can be developed in the Shanghai FTZ, as a template for liberalisation in advanced free trade agreements between China and major trading partners

To date, 11 FTZ papers have been produced following detailed discussions with Chinese counterparties by the International Experts Consultation Group (IECG) – a joint initiative by TheCityUK and CBBC and chaired by Sir Gerry Grimstone. The IECG was established following the success of the UK-China Symposium on the China (Shanghai) Pilot FTZ last December.

TheCityUK and CBBC have also worked closely with the City of London Corporation and the Mayor of London on this important initiative.

Please click here to access our dedicated page to our FTZ work.