More than 1,400 companies have registered in Shanghai’s trade zone within two months of its launch, allowing the official in charge to claim that progress at this crucial testing ground for Chinese economic reforms was on track, writes Simon Rabinovitch in Shanghai.
Expectations jumped ahead of the launch of Shanghai’s trade zone in late September, but companies were initially disappointed when they found that a long list of sectors were still out of bounds for investment.
A lack of clarity about promised measures for lightening China’s financial regulations also deterred banks from entering the zone at its inception.
But Ai Baojun, head of the trade zone’s administrative committee, dismissed the view that it had been a disappointing start, saying his office had been inundated by visits from companies interested in setting up shop there.
He said that 1,434 companies had already registered in the zone, with a further 6,000 in the process of applying.
Just two foreign banks established branches in the zone on its opening day, but that has risen to 12, with HSBC and Deutsche Bank among the recent entrants, he added.
“We’re doing things according to our plans, and progress has been smooth so far,” he said.