“China’s reform needs the participation of foreign capital, foreign businessmen and intellectuals,” Premier Li Keqiang said at the Summer Davos Forum this year.
In 2017, the State Council has issued a series of policies to facilitate foreign investment, promote opening-up and benefit foreigners in China.
Improve foreign investment environment
Equal treatment for domestic and foreign companies
On Jan 17, the State Council issued a circular to promote foreign investment, urging authorities to treat domestic and foreign companies equally.
It ordered State Council departments and local governments to deal with the business licenses and permit applications of foreign-invested enterprises with the same standards and processing timetable as those for domestic-invested enterprises.
Consistency should be maintained in the implementation of policies and regulations, with no additional restrictions being imposed on foreign companies. Intellectual property rights of foreign companies should be protected firmly.
Capital registration system should be unified for domestic and foreign companies. Foreign companies should be encouraged to go public in China.
‘Negative list’ for foreign investment
A “negative list” for foreign investment has been implemented nationwide since July 28, according to the revised guidance catalog of industries for foreign investment issued by the National Development and Reform Commission and the Ministry of Commerce.
In principle, foreign companies are eligible to invest in any industry except those on the negative list.
Facilitate business registration
Efforts should be made to help domestic and foreign companies complete business registration through a single window, according to the State Council executive meeting on July 12.
Different licenses and permits should be merged into a single business license, with a unified national online management system being built.
7 new pilot free trade zones
In March, the State Council issued plans for seven new pilot free trade zones, encouraging them to set up international business incubators, absorb advanced technologies and create a convenient and international business environment that abides by the law.
The new free trade zones are located in Liaoning, Zhejiang, Henan, Hubei, Sichuan and Shaanxi provinces and Chongqing municipality.
Promote international trade
‘Single window’ for customs clearance
The State Council executive meeting on May 24 decided to accelerate the establishment of a “single window” system for customs clearance in international trade, to cover all ports across the country before the end of this year.
At the Summer Davos Forum 2017, Premier Li again stressed promoting the “single window” in efforts to simplify procedures in customs clearance for international trade companies.
At the single window, companies can submit all the documents and information required by different departments in customs clearance to the e-port system all at once. Feedback will also be given in a unified way.
Ease foreigners’ life and work in China
New work permit
Since April 1, the new work permit for foreigners has taken effect, which merges the previous foreign experts’ work permit and foreigners’ entry and work permit.
In the future, the new permit will give every foreigner working in China a permanent ID number and record any job changes, public service and credit.
Updated green card
In April, the Ministry of Public Security issued a circular to launch the Foreign Permanent Residence ID card, an updated Chinese green card.
The new ID card will borrow the technology and appearance standard of the Chinese ID card and be embedded with a chip, so that it can be more easily recognized by the public.
Benefits for high-level foreign professionals
The State Council executive meeting on July 12 decided to simplify the work and residence permit of foreign high-level professionals in China. And the government will try an “all-in-one card” system for foreign professionals that can be used in their living, children’s education and healthcare.