China moving towards greater economic openness - U.S. official

WASHINGTON, July 11 Thu Jul 11, 2013 4:13pm EDT

WASHINGTON, July 11 (Reuters) - The United States on Thursday said China agreed to drop certain exceptions before re-starting negotiations on a bilateral investment treaty between the two countries.

The move is an encouraging sign that the world's second largest economy is willing to open up more sectors to foreign competition, a U.S. Treasury official told reporters on the sidelines of U.S.-China economic talks in Washington.

China also plans to establish a Shanghai Free Trade Zone pilot program and permit foreign firms to compete in certain services sectors, including e-commerce, the official said, speaking on condition of anonymity.

The United States also expects to see more progress on China's move towards a freely-floating exchange rate in coming weeks, the official said.