China's Shanghai pilot free trade zone is expected to expand and associate closer with the Belt and Road Initiative, the Shanghai Securities News reported on Tuesday.
The move is concurrent with the 5th anniversary of the launch of Shanghai pilot free trade zone.
Sun Yuanxin, vice dean of free trade zone research institute at Shanghai University of Finance and Economics, said the development style of the new area would differ from that of the current one.
Some analysts predicted that Shanghai New Hongqiao District, located to the west of Shanghai, and Lingang New City, located in the Pudong New Area of Shanghai and currently called Nanhui New City, are the two most competitive candidates for the new area of the pilot free trade zone.
"Lingang has a larger area, hundreds of square kilometers, for industries like smart manufacturing, new energy vehicles, international shipping, international ship management, biotech research and development, marine industry, among others," said Sun.
On the other hand, New Hongqiao District is more suitable for conventions and exhibitions, and industries related to trade, according to Sun.
Chen Bo, professor at Huazhong University of Science and Technology and dean of Guanggu Free Trade Research Institute, said many people predicted that the Hongqiao Business District was expected to be involved in the opening up of medical care and education.
Furthermore, the Shanghai pilot free trade zone will open up its service sector wider to the outside world and facilitate more in investment and trade, according to Ma Chunlei, deputy secretary-general of the Shanghai municipal government.
"Meanwhile, it is expected to associate its development more with the Belt and Road Initiative," said Wu Daqi, a Shanghai municipal government consultant.