BEIJING: Shanghai has won approval from China's State Council to set up the mainland's first free-trade zone.
Moving it closer to becoming a global financial, trade and shipping hub to rival other Asian cities such as Hong Kong.
The free-trade zone would also likely serve as a testing ground for the central government led by Premier Li Keqiang to launch major financial reforms as part of a plan to boost the service economy and cut reliance on exports.
A general plan governing the operation of the free-trade zone that spans 28.78 square kilometres in Waigaoqiao, Yangshan and Pudong districts in Shanghai has yet to be released.
Lawmakers needed to approve amendments to existing laws to legalise certain experiments, a statement posted on the Chinese Ministry of Commerce said.
The statement did not give more details about the plan.
A free-trade zone or free port, is where customs authorities allow the flow of goods unhindered with zero tariffs on imports.
Sources said earlier that Li aimed to allow foreign banks to set up subsidiary or joint-venture operations and give permission for foreign commodities exchanges to own warehouses in the free-trade zone. (QNA)