The “Negative List” of the Shanghai Free Trade Zone

In this paper, we discuss the development and implementation of the Negative List (“Negative List”) in the China (Shanghai) Pilot Free Trade Zone (the “Shanghai FTZ”).

This is to assist Chinese policymakers as they consider the future development of negative list arrangements in both the Shanghai FTZ and the other free trade zones being developed (the “Broader China FTZs”). The approach we have taken in preparing this paper has been to compare the negative list as it operated in the Shanghai FTZ (the “Negative List”) to the regulatory regimes in selected countries that have Negative List (or equivalent) arrangements or have other foreign investment rules. We have drawn on this international experience to identify the strengths and pitfalls of the different approaches in order to identify key opportunities for Chinese policymakers to strengthen the effectiveness of the Negative List as a tool to drive economic growth, prosperity and broader policy objectives. 

Key discussion points

  • Simplify the Negative List
  • Make the Negative List a complete and conclusive list of all restrictions and conditions on foreign investment.


You can also download this report in Chinese.