Anxious to remain competitive with centres such as Hong Kong,
Singapore and competing commercial centres within China, the
Chinese government has created a new species of Free Trade Zone
(SFTZ). The first of the FTZs date back to 1980 but have been
widely replicated throughout China since that time.
It is approximately 30 square kilometres in size and includes
the Pudong international airport and Yanshan port which puts it
squarely at the centre of the largest commercial centre in China,
It holds out promise of relaxed rules on everything from profit
distribution, tax, out bound investment, enhanced approval and
customs processes and encouragement for companies to set up in a
whole list of financial, logistical and other industries, China
seeks to become more competitive in. The focus is upon encouraging
a more liberal environment to attract foreign expertise designed to
assist China's transformation to a more sophisticated
Whilst much attention has focused on the benefits for the
financial, insurance and logistics sectors there are encouraging
references to IP intensive industries which are to be supported
through new policies encouraging investment and innovation.
These include 'outsourcing of biological medicine',
software, cross border e-commerce, high technology businesses and
encouragement to set up pilot programs around such services within
the zone. Wholly foreign owned 'medical institutions' are
also to be permitted.
There is also to be a zone specific IP mediation process which
is to assist the rapid resolution of IP disputes. Because it is
thought that such an experiment may well test the viability of
extending a similar regime over a much wider area of Shanghai its
progress should receive careful scrutiny.
The content of this article is intended to provide a general
guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought
about your specific circumstances.
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The TPP could have a significant positive impact on the investment and financial services of Australia and Singapore.
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