China launches free trade zone in Shanghai: Xinhua
SHANGHAI (AFP) - China launched a free trade zone in its commercial hub Shanghai on Sunday, state-media reported, with the project seen as a testing ground for much-needed reforms in the world's second largest economy.
The zone, which covers 29 square kilometres, "started operating Sunday", the official Xinhua news agency said, adding that it was "a test bed for the Chinese leadership's drive of deepening market-oriented reforms and boosting economic vigour".
The launch has been hailed as a key test of China's ability to make long-pledged structural reforms as it attempts to shift its economic model in the face of slowing growth.
Free convertibility of China's currency, the yuan, under the capital account on a trial basis will be allowed in the zone, according to a statement released by China's State Council cabinet on Friday.