5. Reform and opening up was vigorously advanced.
We strengthened overall guidance, improved overall planning and coordination, and stepped up overall support and supervision and inspection for reforms, and deepened reforms in key areas. Trials of overall rural reform were expanded, and positive results were achieved in the reform of the system of collective forest rights. Reform of farms run by overseas Chinese was accelerated, and trials of subsidized insurance premiums for major agricultural and livestock products were launched. The reform of state-owned enterprises (SOEs) was further deepened and a trial budget system for the management of state capital was launched. An additional 12 central government enterprises were listed on domestic or overseas stock markets. Substantial progress was made in the trial to institute a board of directors system in SOEs. The income tax rates for domestic and foreign enterprises were unified to make a single income tax rate for both and the trial VAT reform was expanded. A system of requiring compensation for the acquisition of mineral prospecting and mining rights was implemented in eight major coal-producing provinces. Trials to set up new types of rural financial institutions were extended to 31 provinces. Concrete steps were taken in preparation for the reform of the Agricultural Bank of China and the China Development Bank. Key state-owned insurance companies such as the China Life Insurance Company and the China Pacific Insurance (Group) Company Limited have completed their reorganization and transformation to become shareholding corporations and were listed on the stock exchange. The China Investment Corporation was established. The Renminbi exchange rate was made more flexible. The Renminbi appreciated by 13.3 percent against the US dollar between July 2005, when reform of the mechanism for setting the Renminbi exchange rate was introduced, and the end of 2007. Further progress was made in deepening the reform of the science and technology management system and the pilot project to nurture the second group of innovation-based enterprises was launched. Vigorous efforts were made to reform the investment system. Steady progress was made in price reform for refined petroleum and natural gas, and reform of the price of heating in cities was accelerated. More items were removed from the list requiring administrative approval. Steady progress was made in implementing the package of pilot reforms to promote comprehensive and sustainable development. Measures to encourage, support and guide the development of the nonpublic sector of the economy were further improved.
China's economy continued to become more open. The country's export and import volume reached US$2.1738 trillion in 2007, up 23.5 percent from the year before. The mix of exports and imports continued to improve. The export volume of electrical machinery and new and high technology products rose by 27.6 percent and 23.6 percent respectively, and initial results were achieved in efforts to control excessive growth in the export of resource products and products whose production is energy intensive or highly polluting. A new Suggested List of Industries for Foreign Investment was released. Foreign direct investment for the year, excluding financial investment, totaled US$74.8 billion, a year-on-year increase of 13.6 percent. The structure of foreign investment continued to improve. Foreign investment increased by over 60 percent in the western region and over 70 percent in northeast China. Banking, commerce and telecommunications were all opened wider to foreign investment. Foreign investment in tertiary industry rose by 47 percent year on year, and its share in total foreign investment increased by 10 percentage points. The country's foreign exchange reserves reached US$1.5282 trillion. Chinese enterprises did more investing overseas and increased cooperation with foreign companies, resulting in Chinese direct investment in other countries, excluding financial investment, reaching US$18.7 billion in 2007, an increase of 6.2 percent over the previous year.