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Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao FTZ plan given go-head: insider  

粤港澳自贸区方案获中央首肯 单设港澳负面清单

2014-04-30 14:01 Ecns.cn Web Editor: Si Huan

(ECNS) – The overall plan for the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Free Trade Zone (FTZ) has got green light from China's central government, according to an unnamed insider, the Economic Information Daily reported on Wednesday.

Compared to the Shanghai FTZ, the project in south China would put more emphasis on economic links between Guangdong and the Special Administrative Regions (SARs) of Hong Kong and Macao. The insider said that although the plan for the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao FTZ isn't as comprehensively open as Shanghai's, it could apply more innovative measures.

The plan may include an exclusive negative list for Hong Kong and Macao. On the financial innovation side, it will focus on the RMB's use in trans-territory transactions and the construction of offshore and onshore yuan centers.

But when the plan will be implemented remains unclear, the insider added.

The insider pointed out there's still much space for innovation in the FTZ's financial services.

Total financial assets in Guangdong province have reached 1.7 trillion yuan, which would receive a major boost from Hong Kong and Macao through the FTZ.

Zhu Xiaodan, governor of Guangdong province, said the FTZ will be exclusively open to Hong Kong and Macao, and that "the negative list will be shorter than Shanghai's."

Ding Li, a professor at the Guangdong Academy of Social Sciences, told the Economic Information Daily that the exclusive negative list will promote cooperation among Guangdong, Hong Kong and Macao.

But he also worried that different governance styles between Guangdong and the SARs might be an obstacle. The Guangdong government should find a way to transform its function, Ding added.

Zhu has said that the FTZ would promote reform in Guangdong, making doing business in Guangdong "as convenient as in Hong Kong."

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