China is committed to further opening its economy and allowing foreign and domestic firms to compete on equal footing. Chinese Premier Li Keqiang recently spoke on the topic, saying, “If there is one thing that is going to be different from the past, it will be that China will open even wider. [ . . . ] China's economy has been so integrated with the world economy that closing the door to it would mean blocking our path to development.”

Trade compliance is at the heart of Asia’s free trade agreement (FTA) hub. However, what’s next for the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) when it comes to FTAs and the bigger picture of trade compliance?

ASEAN entered a new phase of economic integration in 2015 when it formally established itself as the AEC; signifying deeper levels of economic interaction in terms of goods, services, investments, technology transfer, and harmonized standards. The global significance of ASEAN cannot be overstated. In 2014, its total GDP reached US $2.6 trilling making it the seventh largest economy in the word, while its total trade was US $2.5 trillion the majority of which was intra-ASEAN trade.

The Shanghai foreign-trade zone (FTZ), which opened in Sept. 2013, is set for a new policy in the next State Council meeting. According to Southern Weekly, the updated policy will expand opportunities for the financial sector.

The deputy director of the Shanghai FTZ administration, Sun Jiwei, said that the new draft rules will ease restrictions on overseas investments of individual investors and allow free convertibility of capital accounts.

At its opening, the Shanghai FTZ was the first one in the country to be used as a pilot area for economic and trade deregulation. After an area expansion, the FTZ now covers 80% of Pudong District, which houses the financial, IT, and advanced manufacturing sectors.

For more details on the upcoming Shanghai FTZ policy, please click here.