The Shenzhen municipal government has launched a raft of measures for further driving the financial opening of its Qianhai New District.
Shenzhen’s legislative body recently passed the “Shenzhen Special Economic Zone Qianhai-Shekou Free Trade Trial Zone Regulations (深圳经济特区前海蛇口自由贸易试验片区条例) and the “Shenzhen Special Economic Zone Qianhai Shenzhen – Hong Kong Modern Services Zone Regulations” (深圳经济特区前海深港现代服务业合作区条例), both of which will come into effect on 1 October.
The “Free Trade Regulations” propose an administrative model of “no interference unless regulations are breached” (非违规不干预), with the goal of “exploring the implementation of international trade freedom.”
Qianhai will “gradually expand or cancel entry restriction measures including qualification requirements, equity ratios and business scopes for foreign investors in sectors including finance, logistics, information services, tech services and healthcare.”
The “Services Zone Regulations” also outline measures directed at investors in Hong Kong and Macau, including cancellation of entry restrictions for investment in the free trade zone, further changes to the Hong Kong-Macau cross-border services trade negative list, and expediting “comprehensive liberalisation” of services trade between mainland China and Hong Kong and Macau.
The Qianhai New District – also referred to as the “Qianhai Shenzhen – Hong Kong Modern Service Cooperation Zone,” is situated in the Pearl River Delta and lies within a 30-minute commute of Hong Kong.
In June 2012 the State Council designated that Qianhai would be the site of major financial reform and opening policies.
These would include expansion of channels for the return flow of offshore renminbi funds, issuance of renminbi loans by domestic banks for international projects, and internationalisation of the local financial market via further opening with Hong Kong under the Mainland and Hong Kong Closer Economic Partnership Arrangement (CEPA).