Shanghai: The Shanghai Free Trade Zone (FTZ) recently proposed to the central government to further open businesses in many sectors to foreign players.
One of the proposals is to further open the ship agency business, however the proposal has been strongly opposed by China Association of Ship Agencies & Non-Vessel-Operating Common Carriers (CASA).
“Currently the ship agency industry has already been suffering from difficulties due to the sluggish shipping market, further opening to foreign players will make domestic companies even harder to survive,” CASA said in a release.
“If the ship agency industry is opened to foreign companies and there are no effective regulations, there will be serious consequences that many medium small companies will go bankrupt,” said Xing Dezhang, deputy director of CASA.
Currently China allows foreign companies to invest up to 49% percent shares in domestic ship agency companies. In a FTZ development plan made by the State Council last year, the council has allowed for the setting up of wholly foreign-owned shipmanagement companies in the FTZ. [09/05/14]