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Financial sector opened up further

Xin Zhiming/Li Xiang
Updated: Nov 11,2017 9:45 AM     China Daily

China will raise foreign ownership limits in domestic financial firms and grant foreign investors greater access to the financial services market of the world’s second-largest economy, a top official said on Nov 10.

Zhu Guangyao, vice-minister of finance, said the country will raise the limit on foreign ownership in joint-venture firms in the futures, securities and funds sectors to 51 percent from the current 49 percent.

At the same time China has also urged the United States to loosen restrictions on exports of high-tech products to China, comply with Article 15 of the Protocol on China’s Accession to the World Trade Organization, treat Chinese investors in the US fairly, facilitate China International Capital Corporation’s application for independent financial business license, and be discreet in using trade remedy measures against Chinese exports to the US, Zhu said.

Article 15, agreed to by all the WTO members including the US upon China’s accession, requires that WTO members should stop using the surrogate country approach to conduct anti-dumping investigations on China by Dec 11, 2016. It prevents other countries from willfully using trade remedy measures against Chinese exports.

Zhu made the comments after US President Donald Trump wrapped up his three-day state visit to China on Nov 10, during which the two countries reached consensus on a series of important political and economic topics including trade.

Zhu called the meetings between President Xi Jinping and his US counterpart “historic” and said their consensus will lay a foundation “for the healthy and sustainable development of bilateral relations in the coming decades”.

The two sides will take a “foresighted” and “constructive” approach to deal with the problems and contradictions that have arisen from the rapidly developing Sino-US economic relations through expanding bilateral economic cooperation, Zhu cited Xi as saying.

The deepening of cooperation between the two nations will help push forward globalization and benefit global economic growth, analysts said.

“It will contribute to combat the anti-globalization tide and constitute a ‘dual-core stabilizer’ for global economy and financial markets,” said Cheng Shi, chief economist of ICBC International. “It will also help promote global economic rebalancing and support global economic recovery.”

It is also a key step in China’s financial reform, said Cheng. “It will help China accelerate its financial integration with the international system and push the global development of its financial firms.”

Wang Peng, a research fellow at the Charhar Institute and China Institute of Fudan University, said that commercial deals reached by China and the US are a major achievement based on a mutually beneficial approach, which will help boost economic cooperation between the world’s two largest economies and help eliminate potential friction in the fields of trade and investment.