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Premier urges more Shanghai FTZ innovation

Updated: Sep 19,2014 10:50 PM     Xinhua

Premier Li Keqiang (L front) visits the Waigaoqiao logistics center of the China (Shanghai) Pilot Free Trade Zone (FTZ), east China’s Shanghai, Sept 19, 2014. Li Keqiang made an inspection tour of the FTZ from Sept 18 to 19. [Photo/Xinhua]

Premier Li Keqiang has called for more reforms and innovations in the Shanghai Pilot Free Trade Zone (FTZ) to “breed new advantages for the Chinese economy.”

“Companies should not be allowed to lose at the starting line due to excessive government regulations and approval procedures,” said Li during a two-day inspection tour of the FTZ to mark the one-year anniversary of its establishment.

Premier Li Keqiang (R, front) visits the Waigaoqiao comprehensive service hall of the China (Shanghai) Pilot Free Trade Zone (FTZ), east China’s Shanghai, Sept 18, 2014. Li Keqiang made an inspection tour of the FTZ from Sept 18 to 19. [Photo/Xinhua]

The number of companies in the FTZ has grown from 8,000 a year ago to more than 20,000. For foreign investment, the number of procedures that need approval has dropped from the original 1,000 to the current 139, according to the FTZ.

More streamlined government is meant to make room for the market, promoting market vitality and inspiring more people to start companies, Li said.

China should do more to put its regulations in line with international standards and treat Chinese and foreign companies equally, he added.

Premier Li Keqiang (C, front) greets the clients of the Bank of China (BOC) from Hong Kong by a smartphone as he visits a branch of BOC located in the China (Shanghai) Pilot Free Trade Zone (FTZ), east China’s Shanghai, Sept 18, 2014. Li Keqiang made an inspection tour of the FTZ from Sept 18 to 19. [Photo/Xinhua]

At the FTZ branch of the Bank of China, home to experimentation with mechanisms of “free trade accounts” and RMB cross-border use, Li called for more innovation in the financial sector and expanding opening-up to in turn drive broader reform and boost the real economy.

Speaking about risk control in the financial sector, the premier said that, only when proper regulations are in place can the authorities have more courage to further open up.

Premier Li Keqiang (L) visits the Waigaoqiao logistics center of the China (Shanghai) Pilot Free Trade Zone (FTZ), east China’s Shanghai, Sept 19, 2014.[Photo/Xinhua]

Premier Li Keqiang (3rd L) visits the US Pharmacopeial Convention (USP) in east China’s Shanghai, Sept 18, 2014.[Photo/Xinhua]

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