By Li Hongmei
Experts have warned that the rush to apply to set up free trade zones in various parts of China following the opening of the Shanghai FTZ last year may undermine their success.
A report published by the China News Service said the Shanghai Pilot Free Trade Zone, which opened for business in the second half of last year, has already become an important engine for China's economic reform and everyone is wondering where the next zone will be set up.
Several cities along the country's east coast have made clear their ambitions to become the next economic and trade hub. A total of 21 provinces and cities have applied set up their own FTZ, including Tianjin, Zhejiang, Zhoushan, Qingdao and Guangdong.
Sun Lijian, a professor of economics at Fudan University in Shanghai, said however that free trade zones will not flourish all over China and the authorities will proceed with evaluations before making a decision on where to establish them.
Sun said only those locations that can meet certain conditions, such as good industrial fundamentals, a sound market environment, smooth interaction with the government and a good market mechanism, have a chance to be designated the country's the next free trade zone.(Resource: China Economic Net)