Date: 28 November 2016 12:46A+
Baku, November 28, AZERTAC
China's first national-level energy trading center has officially opened for business in Shanghai, according to China.org.cn.
The center, named Shanghai Petroleum and Natural Gas Exchange, is expected to better connect suppliers and buyers so as to establish a fair energy pricing mechanism in the country.
China's top economic planning body, the National Development and Reform Commission, says the platform marks a step further toward the country's market-oriented reform in the energy sector.
The center, established in 2015, has ten shareholders, including the three major Chinese state-owned oil companies.
Its official opening follows more than one year of trial operations.
It is estimated gas transactions at the center will exceed 15 billion cubic meters this year, accounting for some 8 percent of China's total natural gas consumption.
Energy businesses in China were traditionally monopolized by the state-run sector, with prices for oil and natural gas largely decided by the government.
However, authorities have been encouraging private investors to participate in the industry in recent years in a move to improve the industry's overall competitiveness.
Chinese authorities are looking to let the market play a decisive role in the allocation of economic resources amid calls for a reduction of administrative powers over business activities.