Shipping containers at the Yangshan Deep Water Port, part of the Shanghai Free Trade Zone. Photo: Reuters/Carlos Barria

Shanghai will promote the application of free trade accounts and expand its functions for the year ahead, so as to expand the development of the Shanghai free trade pilot zone, said Ying Yong, the Mayor of the city, Jiefang Daily reported.

Companies operating in the Shanghai Pilot Free Trade Zone are allowed to open FT accounts to facilitate the free movement of funds with accounts outside mainland China. The government also expanded the scope of FT accounts last year.

Science and technology enterprises that meet certain conditions in Shanghai can set up such accounts. The scope of the policy is expected to continue to expand this year.

So far, there are around 70,000 FT accounts, with total cumulative financing of more than 1.1 trillion yuan (US$170 billion).

Meanwhile, Shanghai will explore the construction of a free trade port, Ying added.

Asia Times Financial is now live. Linking accurate news, insightful analysis and local knowledge with the ATF China Bond 50 Index, the world's first benchmark cross sector Chinese Bond Indices. Read ATF now.