More Changes Made to Joint Venture Law

More changes have been made to draft amendments to the Law on Chinese-foreign Equity Joint Ventures following scrutiny by nearly 3,000 NPC deputies at the ongoing fourth session of the Ninth National People's Congress (NPC), said Wang Weicheng Wednesday in Beijing.

Reporting on the outcome of discussions about the amendments to the presidium of the annual session, Wang, chairman of the NPC Law Committee, said the committee believed amendments were needed.

He added it also thought the NPC Standing Committee should have the power to revise the law in future to speed up the country’s accession into the World Trade Organization.

The Law Committee made a number of changes based on suggestions by NPC deputies, he said.

Additions to the draft include the right to set up trade unions in joint ventures, which should safeguard workers' legal rights and interests. Companies will be required to provide trade unions with necessary facilities to carry out their activities.

Other revisions include details on employment, dismissal, remuneration and welfare.

The existing joint venture law requires joint ventures to buy insurance policies from Chinese insurers, but in the draft amendment the words "Chinese insurers" are changed to "insurers in China," thus bringing it into line with the Insurance Law.

In the existing joint venture law, these firms are also required to put their disputes to arbitration. The amendment adds that a case may also be brought before the people's courts if joint venture partners fail to include arbitration articles in contracts or parties fail to reach a written arbitration agreement.

Wang said deputies also made other proposals, but these will be considered later because of their complexity and number. These amendments could be later submitted to the NPC Standing Committee for discussion.

Deputies attending Wednesday's meeting voted for Wang's report and said the revised draft of the joint venture law should be distributed to all deputies for further discussion before being submitted to the plenary session for approval.

(Xinhua 03/15/2001)

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