China resolves to lower barriers for foreign investors

By Wu Jin
0 Comment(s)Print E-mail, June 11, 2018
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Chinese authorities are set to carry out a series of policies to further promote foreign investment and alleviate barriers to investors, said Wang Shouwen, the deputy minister of commerce, at a press conference hosted by the State Council Information Office on June 8, 2018.

According to Wang, the new policies, released in a circular titled "The Measures to Boost High-Quality Economy with the Positive Utility of Foreign Investments," are expected to streamline procedures, allow fuller access and uphold intellectual property rights for overseas investors applying for or already holding investments in China.

According to the circular, the policies related to Pre-Establishment National Treatment and negative list in pilot free trade zones and beyond will be revised and fully implemented before July of this year. 

Easier access to the service sectors will also be given to foreign investors. Steady steps will be taken to further open the financial industry. Controls on overseas investments in manufacturing industries, including vehicles, ships and airplanes, will be eased or scrapped.

The central government has resolved to move ahead with its reform and opening up policy along a wider spectrum and with deeper exploration, Wang explained.

In response to common complaints that the previous policies are often out of reach to foreign investors, the new set of measures establish fixed timetables and streamline the registration and filing procedures to foreign investors who wish to start businesses in China.

At the same time, the central government will relegate power to local governments to tackle the registration and alteration of foreign investments below US$1 billion as relates to the negative list.

At the same time, the new measures attempt to improve enforcement of intellectual property rights, historically one of the most sensitive problem spots for foreign investors in China.

The circular particularly stressed that China will continue to fulfill commitments made upon accession to the World Trade Organization in 2001. In addition, the ceiling for compensation in the case of intellectual infringements will be raised, so violators will pay higher punitive fines in the interest of foreign investors.

"We'll ensure foreign investors enjoy equity in every aspect while they are doing business in China," said Wang. "They'll be free of trouble and enabled to calibrate long-term development in the country with their interests and rights being protected here."

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