One of the benefits arising from the China–Australia Free Trade Agreement announced in November 2014 is the increased ability for a range of Australian service suppliers to conduct business in China by setting up businesses in the Shanghai Free Trade Zone (SHFTZ). These services include legal services, telecommunications services, construction and engineering services and transport services.

The SHFTZ comprises four separate areas within the Pudong New Area to the east of Shanghai, adjacent to the Port of Waigaoqiao, the Shanghai Luchao port, and the Shanghai Pudong International Airport. The SHFTZ was established in September 2013 as a pilot project under China’s domestic reforms to promote economic restructuring and a wider opening to global markets.

More new free trade zones (FTZ’s) were approved at a meeting held in Beijing on 24 March 2015 by the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee, located in the southern provinces of Guangdong and Fujian, and a third for the northern city of Tianjin. The three new FTZs will join the SFTZ China as test sites for liberalising trade and investment policies and advancing institutional reforms. An official statement said that the Shanghai FTZ has made good progress and should be replicated and expanded.

The Export Council of Australia (ECA), as part of its project “The China (Shanghai) Free-Trade Zone and Australia”, is currently inviting companies with business in or with China to have their say on the SHFTZ.

Its survey can be accessed via their website

The project is being undertaken with the support of Asialink Business, Austrade and the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade’s Australia China Council, and the survey will help contribute to a report to be released from July 2015. More details can be obtained from ECA’s website