The Ministry of Foreign Trade and Economic Cooperation (MOFTEC) has decided to lower the benchmark for applicants from the private sector to do import and export business, in an effort to encourage them to compete in the international market.
According to a notice issued by MOFTEC Monday, starting from January 1, 2001, former requirements on private enterprises in terms of sales revenue and export quota will be lifted, and the same rules will apply for state-owned, collectively owned and private enterprises and research institutions in granting them rights to do foreign trade business.
Private manufacturing enterprises with over 5 million yuan (about US$600,000) of registered capital, private research institutes and hi-tech enterprises with over 2 million yuan (about US$240,000) of registered capital can apply for permission to do import and export business.
Private enterprises in ethnic-minority-inhabited and central and western regions will be permitted to apply as long as they have a registered capital of over 3 million yuan (about US$360,000).
Sources from MOFTEC said the move represents another concrete step taken by China to reform its foreign trade system and to prepare for accession to the World Trade Organization.
(People’s Daily 12/19/2000)