Did you feel the change in the air when you woke up this morning? Instead of trudging to the office on your bonus work day, did you feel invigorated and uplifted? The Shanghai Free Trade Zone (FTZ) is finally here.
Here’s Xinhua at 10:19 this morning breaking the thrilling news:
Shanghai Free Trade Zone begins operation.
Six minutes later, we are treated to this incredible update:
SHANGHAI, Sept. 29 (Xinhua) — The Shanghai pilot free trade zone started operating Sunday, launching a test bed for the Chinese leadership’s drive of deepening market-oriented reforms and boosting economic vigor.
The AFP has slightly more information about what the free trade zone actually means:
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.
The zone will also trial market-set interest rates, seen by analysts as a key reform for China’s economy, according to the statement.
Restrictions on foreign investment will be eased inside the zone, which will also loosen controls on 18 service sectors ranging from finance and shipping to culture services.
The free trade zone has seen silliness both inside China and out, with domestic investors inflating a bubble over any stocks with ‘Shanghai’ in the name, and Hong Kong newspapers publishing completely incorrect reports that the internet would be uncensored within the FTZ.
More importantly, the FTZ may spell the end to the video game console ban.
[Image credit: @gregoryjordan]