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The up-and-coming Shanghai financial center

China’s current number one plan is to shift from a manufacturing-based export economy to one more driven by domestic consumption. It also aims to build its own world-class financial services market by 2020.

However, two big hang-ups are holding the reins back in this expansive growth:

The limitations on RMB convertibility is a direct obstacle to organic interaction between global and local Chinese trade. All foreign exchange transactions must go through China’s State Administration of Foreign Exchange (SAFE), which has tight policy control.
Credit card monopoly: Unionpay, formally known as China UnionPay, is the only bank card association allowed to provide card payment settlement services in China. Though effective in controlling risk, leveraging resources and reducing costs, it stifles development and limits market access for Visa, MasterCard and other international players.
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