China launches new pilot zones to open up financial markets

China will set up pilot zones to quicken the pace of financial reform, the official China Securities Journal reported, the latest effort by Beijing to support cash-starved enterprises amid a slowing economy.

The cabinet said it would set up a pilot zone in Taizhou city in the central province of Zhejiang to develop innovative and online financial institutions to help small- and medium-sized enterprises to tap onshore and offshore funds, the newspaper reported.

A second pilot zone in the northeastern province of Jilin will focus on easing access to finance for the agricultural sector. Plans include developing insurance products for agribusiness and expanding the range of collateral banks accept for lending to them, the report added.

Plans also include a new pilot zone in each of the existing Guangdong, Tianjin and Fujian free trade zones to develop cross-strait financial co-operation. These zones will focus on the cross-border use of the yuan, cross-border investment and financing, the report said.

The International Monetary Fund admitted China’s yuan into its benchmark currency basket on Monday, in a victory for Beijing’s campaign for recognition as a global economic power.

Source: Reuters

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