BEIJING — China has this year significantly trimmed its negative list, which restricts foreign investment, in its pilot free trade zones (FTZs).
Sun Jiwen, spokesperson for the Ministry of Commerce (MOC), said on June 22 that the number of items on the list stands at 95 this year, 27 fewer than in 2015.
In 2017, China has reduced the restrictions on the mining, manufacturing, transportation, information, commercial service, finance, scientific research and culture sectors.
For example, overseas investors can now design and produce civil helicopters with a maximum take-off weight of 3 tonnes and above in the FTZs, Sun said.
The ministry has also promoted transparency of the negative list to help facilitate foreign investment, according to Sun.
The items on the negative list only apply in the FTZs — which have expanded from the first in Shanghai to the current 11 across the country.
In 2013, there were 190 items on the list. This was reduced to 139 in 2014.
China’s FTZs are a way of testing new policies, including interest rate liberalization and fewer investment restrictions, to better integrate the economy with international practices.
China will establish unified and transparent market access rules and boost reform in the commercial registration system to improve market access, according to the 2016-2020 plan released by the State Council in January this year.