Special Economic Zones in China and WTO: Bleak or Bright Future?

  • Madeleine Martinek


Only recently, in September 29, 2013, an experimental free trade zone was launched in Shanghai described as one of the most potentially significant developments in over three decades. Some even called it “the next Shenzhen”. The author elaborates on the evolution of foreign trade and the accomplishments of Special Economic Zones (SEZs) defying the overall liberalization process initiated by China’s accession to the World Trade Organization (WTO). By also taking a look at the Shanghai pilot Free Trade Zone (FTZ), the author concludes that despite China’s implementation of the national treatment principle, the SEZs continue to be of high significance for foreign investors as well as for the rest of China