China on Wednesday unveiled a new, shortened nationwide negative list for foreign investment, cutting items off limits to foreign investment from 40 to 33 in the latest move to honor its commitment to further opening up its economy amid the pandemic and rising unilateralism led by the US.
Services, manufacturing and agriculture sectors have been further opened with the release of new negative list. Restrictions on foreign shares in securities companies, securities investment fund management companies, futures companies, and life insurance companies were scrapped.
Restrictions on foreign investment share ratios in commercial vehicle manufacturing will be lifted, and regulations prohibiting foreign investment in the smelting, processing and nuclear fuel production of radioactive minerals will also be eliminated.
By releasing the new negative list, we are aiming to implement a wider range, a wider field and a deeper level of comprehensive opening-up, and to promote high-quality economic development with high-level opening-up, an NDRC spokesperson said.
“Under the pandemic impact, China has insisted on wider opening-up and advancing the resumption of production, and has uniformly applied various supportive policies to domestic and foreign companies to provide foreign investment with a more open investment environment,” said the spokesperson.
Investors from various countries will feel more deeply that China’s pace of promoting higher levels of opening-up will not slow down, that China’s policy of using foreign capital will not change, and that China will provide better services for foreign companies investing in China, the spokesperson noted.
Since the proposal was made in 2018, China has spent more than two years fulfilling its promise to cancel foreign equity limitations for financial institutions and enterprises by the end of 2020, showing great ambition and strength in further opening up the country’s financial sector, the director of the Finance and Securities Institute at the Wuhan University of Science and Technology told the Global Times on Wednesday.
“It is obvious that China’s foreign investment negative list has been shortened on a large scale in recent years,” Dong noted, adding that China has reduced what could be reduced and only retains restrictions in investment areas related to national security.
He said the continued shortening of the negative list will be a trend in China’s further opening-up.
A separate list governing foreign investment in China’s free trade zones, which enjoy a higher degree of openness, slashed restricted areas from 37 to 30.
Regulations prohibiting foreign investment in traditional Chinese medicine decoction pieces were canceled and wholly foreign-owned enterprises are now allowed to establish vocational education institutions in the free trade zone, the NDRC spokesperson said.
Concerning the relaxing of restrictions on foreign investment in the domestic manufacturing industry, Dong noted that the country has the confidence to allow domestic enterprises to compete with their global counterparts.
“We have formed a strong manufacturing industrial chain, hence we have the confidence to open the doors and compete with global enterprises. Moderate competition will help promote industrial standards and service quality,” he said.
Generally, most foreign enterprises in China enjoy national treatment, not only in the approval process before admittance, but also in their treatment after entering China, according to Dong.