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7 More Free Trade Zones Announced
China set up 7 more new free trade zones (FTZs) to bring institutional innovation to economic reform and promise practical gains for both domestic and foreign companies.
The new FTZs in Chongqing, Henan, Hubei, Liaoning, Shaanxi, Sichuan and Zhejiang were announced by commerce minister Gao Hucheng on Wednesday.
A total of 21 provinces and regions filed applications to have an FTZ, and seven won approval, bringing the total number to 11. Shanghai, Guangdong, Tianjin and Fujian already have FTZs.
The FTZ expansion comes as China faces heavy downward pressure and more opening up will help the pace of economic development.
"It has taken three years for China to expand the number of FTZs from one to 11. More FTZs are important to drive supply-side reform," said Xu Guangjian of Renmin University of China.
FTZ means a new set of rules, freeing investment, easier trade, better governance and financial innovation, he said.
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