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Wider, deeper opening-up on the agenda

2019-06-21 13:13:56 China Daily

China will remove all access restrictions on foreign investment in areas outside the negative list by the end of this year, as part of the country’s overall effort to further open up the economy and pursue high-quality development, the nation’s top economic regulator said on June 17.

Meng Wei, spokeswoman for the National Development and Reform Commission, said China will continue to widen market access for foreign investment, and the nation is set to soon release the revised negative list on market access of foreign investment and the catalog of encouraged foreign investment industries.

“China welcomes foreign businesses to invest and develop in China. And we will continue to unswervingly expand opening-up, create a more open and business-friendly environment and protect the legitimate rights and interests of foreign investment,” Meng said at a news conference in Beijing.

“Our negative lists will only be shortened further,” Meng added. “By the end of this year, China will lift all barriers to foreign investment not included on the negative list. And China will encourage more foreign investment in more fields, especially for the central and western regions.”

A negative list indicates areas where investment is prohibited, while all other areas are presumed to be open.

Li Gang, director of the academic committee at the Chinese Academy of International Trade and Economic Cooperation, said as the Chinese economy is transitioning from the phase of rapid growth to a stage of high-quality development, China needs to further expand opening-up and increase openness with its foreign investment rules.

“In the era of economic globalization, shutting our door to the outside world would not help China,” Li said.

“In fact, many of our sectors are still on the low to medium tier compared with other leading countries. Thus we need to foster a better business environment and widen market access to attract more foreign investment, which will help fuel innovation, and improve industrial upgrading and high-quality economic development in China.”