China is opening more sectors to foreign investment along with a slew of measures to build a level playing field.
The State Council’s executive meeting on Dec 28 chaired by Premier Li Keqiang approved a new guideline to further attract foreign investment and advance China’s opening up.
“We should take measures with great effectiveness to attract foreign capital,” Premier Li stressed.
According to the new guideline, hurdles for foreign investment access will be eliminated in a number of manufacturing sectors, including rail transportation, motorbikes, and ethanol fuels. Foreign capital will have access to energy, water conservancy, environmental protection and utilities via franchise agreements.
The catalog of industrial access for foreign investors will be amended to match the new measures. Foreign enterprises will be encouraged to invest in high-end manufacturing industry, as well as manufacturing-related services, such as industrial design and modern logistics.
“China’s economy is growing as we continue our opening-up strategy. Besides advanced technology and experience in management, China also needs capital investment from overseas,” Premier Li said.
Accounting and auditing, architecture design and rating services will be open to foreign investment for the first time. Foreign-funded firms will be cleared to join the national science and technology program on equal terms with domestic firms, and enjoy favorable policies designed for the “Made in China 2025” strategy.
The new guideline emphasizes equal treatment of foreign investors, and no additional restriction is permitted.
Premier Li emphasized that government at all levels should further streamline administration to reinforce the implementation of existing policies in attracting foreign investment and reducing institutional costs.
The new guideline highlights consistency in policies designed to attract foreign investment. Better protection of IPR for foreign investors is also covered.
The government will work to provide more convenience to help foreign investors and experts live and work in China. In central and western parts of China, foreign investment in the “encouraged category” such as high-end manufacturing will enjoy financing, land and taxation incentives.