Beijing opens more sectors to foreign investment

Beijing opens more sectors to foreign investment

BEIJING: China will soften or lift restrictions on foreign investment in new sectors from July 30, authorities announced June 30, after Beijing and Washington decided to restart negotiations in their trade war.

Foreign investors in China have long complained of unfair treatment, with restrictions covering sectors including maritime transport, gas pipelines, cinema, entertainment and telecommunication services, according to the Ministry of Commerce and the NDRC, the powerful economic planning committee.

China has a “negative list” that states which industries are closed to, or regulated for, foreign investment.

On July 30 that list will be reduced from the 48 sectors currently included down to 40, according to the Ministry of Commerce and the NDRC.

The announcement comes a day after China’s President Xi Jinping and his US counterpart Donald Trump met on the sidelines of the G20 summit June 29, agreeing to restart trade talks that were abruptly halted in May.

China and the US have been embroiled in a trade war since last year, slapping tariffs on goods worth $360 billion in two-way trade.

Trump has demanded Beijing implement structural reforms that guarantee an even playing field for foreign companies.

Earlier this month, Chinese Premier Li Keqiang promised his country’s market would be opened further to non-Chinese businesses.

“We will soften entry to more sectors to create an international business environment, founded on the market and law,” Li told representatives of multinational companies at Beijing’s opulent Great Hall of the People.

China adopted a law in March that aimed to give foreign investors the same privileges as Chinese companies in most sectors, except those placed on the “negative list”. AFP

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