China will further open up its service sector to foreign investors, the Commerce Ministry said on Feb 1.
The move is part of the country’s long-term commitment to shift its economy toward a growth model driven by consumption, services and innovation, thus contributing to global economic growth.
Gao Feng, spokesman for the Ministry of Commerce, said: “The ministry will work together with the relevant departments to open up sectors including finance, education, culture and medicine in an orderly manner.”
In addition, restrictions on foreign investors’ access to the Chinese market would be further reduced in such fields as child and elderly care, architectural design, accounting and auditing, commerce and trade, logistics and e-commerce.
“These endeavors are made to create a more attractive investment environment for foreign investors,” Gao said.
This year is China’s 40th anniversary of implementing its reform and opening-up strategy since 1978.
“The best way to mark the anniversary is to take further measures to open up,” Liu He, a member of the Political Bureau of the Communist Party of China Central Committee, said at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.
Liu, who is also director of the General Office of the Central Leading Group for Financial and Economic Affairs, said China will continue to comply with the international trade rules, relax restrictions on market access and further open up its service industry, especially the financial sector.
It is “a confident gesture” to emphasize the opening-up of the financial sector, which would allow more foreign institutions to operate in China, said Zhu Ning, chair professor of finance at the PBC School of Finance, Tsinghua University.
“It shows that the country is keen to introduce more experience to improve corporate governance and risk management of the domestic financial sector,” Zhu told Tencent News in Davos.
For years, China has been dedicated to shifting its economic growth model toward one driven by consumption, services and innovation. Data show these efforts are bearing fruit.
In 2017, China’s service sector output increased 8 percent year-on-year, outperforming the national GDP growth rate of 6.9 percent, according to data compiled by the National Bureau of Statistics.
Li Jun, director of the international service trade research institute, affiliated with the Commerce Ministry, said the growth in the service sector output coincides with the country’s decision to further open up to the outside world.
“The sector’s opening-up not only requires the relaxation of restrictions on market access, but also makes the application procedures more transparent, regulated and simplified,” Li said in a research note.