China will improve the negative list for foreign investment and ensure operational financial rules for Shanghai’s pilot free trade zone next year, the city’s Vice Mayor Ai Baojun said yesterday. “Shanghai is aiming to build an international-level free trade zone after two to three years of experiment, which will facilitate trade and investment and allow free exchange of currency in a well-regulated environment,” Ai, who also heads the zone’s management committee, said in a statement. He said the improved negative list next year seeks further opening-up and transparency. He said operational and detailed rules for financial reform will be released to better service the zone’s development. The central bank last week unveiled a financial reform package for the zone covering the management of free trade accounts, easing cross-border investment and trading, expanding yuan cross-border use, liberalizing interest rates and simplifying foreign exchange management. “The goal of setting up the zone is to explore experiences that can be copied and expanded to other areas of China which seeks to deepen reforms and openness,” Ai said. Sun Yuanjiang, deputy director of the Department of International Trade and Economic Affairs under the Ministry of Commerce, said yesterday policies now being tested in the zone will be extended nationwide in two to three years.