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Reform of Investment System to Begin in 2004

China is to carry out a reform of its regulatory system of investment next year, a major step taken to build a complete market system.


Chinese Minister in charge of the State Development and Reform Commission (SDRC) Ma Kai said at a national work meeting held here Monday that the SDRC had already passed the draft reform plan to the State Council for approval.


Ma said under the reform plan, most non-government investment projects would no longer require government approval. Investors are allowed to make their own decision and have only to notify the government about the projects for records.


For large-scale, non-government-funded investment projects and those in the areas restricted for private investment, they have to pass government assessment only in terms of national security, rational utilization of resources, environmental protection, optimizing economic structure, safeguarding public interest and anti-monopoly requirements, Ma said.


Ma said the SDRC was drafting complementary rules and regulations for the reform plan so as to pave the way for implementation next year. The rules in the pipeline included regulations on assessment of corporate investment projects and regulations on management of investment by the central government.


Ma said the SDRC and its local branches would continue to sort out the projects requiring government approval next year. For those that no long require approval, the government would develop new ways to monitor the investment activities.


He said China would also accelerate the reform of the management of corporate bond issuance next year. He said the regulations on the management of corporate bonds would come into force as soon as possible, while other relevant regulations were also being drafted.


Ma said the government would abolish the practice of approving issuance of corporate bonds and instead, such issuance would only need to be registered with relevant authorities. The scope of the use of corporate bond money would also be expanded and the varieties of corporate bonds be increased, he said.


The government would adopt a stricter but simplified process of examining issuance applications, he said.


According to the SDRC's estimate, China's investment in fixed assets is to increase 23 percent this year. In the first three quarters of the year, collective and individual investment grew at a rate 9.6 percentage points faster than in the same period of last year.


(Xinhua News Agency December 2, 2003)


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