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China to allow tea, yachts for foreigners in 1st FTZ

SHANGHAI -- Shanghai has trimmed the list of what is banned in China's first free trade zone (FTZ), opening a few more areas to foreign participation, it said Tuesday, following disappointment over the new FTZ.

The Shanghai government released a new “negative list” of what is barred in the zone, cutting the number of items from 190 to 139, according to the document posted online.

The FTZ in China's commercial hub was launched last September, a much-heralded move promising widespread reform including free convertibility of the yuan currency.

The original “negative list” was issued at the same time.

But Tuesday's revisions were limited, the new list showed, among them allowing some foreign companies to use Chinese airline reservation systems, and scrapping some requirements for investing in medical facilities.

Foreign investors would be allowed to set up wholly owned companies to design yachts and manufacture aviation engine components. They would also be allowed to process green tea through joint ventures with Chinese partners.

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