Shanghai Makes it Easier for Foreigners to Set Up Business in FTZ

By That's Shanghai, January 9, 2018

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Shanghai has released an extensive series of new policies aimed at making it easier for foreigners to establish businesses in the the city's Free Trade Zone (FTZ).

Under 20 new rules announced by market authorities in the FTZ, located in Pudong, "top foreign talent" with permanent residence cards (otherwise known as "green cards") will be allowed to establish technology companies and start limited liability partnerships, an option which was previously only available to Chinese citizens.

According to Shine, "top foreign talent" are identified as "award winners, renowned scholars, and elites in their fields, among other categories." Similar to China's new "Certificate for Foreign High-End Talent" announced on January 1, expats who wish to receive "top foreign talent" status must be officially recognized by the governments of either Shanghai or Pudong.

READ MORE: Some Foreigners Can Now Get Work Permits Within Just a Few Days

The new rules will also "bring foreigners a status equal to that of ordinary Chinese citizens in areas such as market entry, financing and company listing in stocks," Xinhua reports

The rules will also simplify adminstrative processes for companies, such as allowing firms established by Chinese citizens and registered in the FTZ to create multiple branches under a single business license. 

The new policies are part of the new 'Master Urban Plan' released by the municipal government last week. Aimed at making the city more accessible to businesses and foreign tourists, the plan calls for Shanghai to become an "excellent global city" by 2035, when it hopes to attract 14 million foreign visitors annually.

Under the plan, Shanghai also hopes to increase the city's foreign population from its current number of 170,000 to 800,000 by 2035.

[Image via Ministry of Commerce of the People's Republic of China]

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