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UPDATED: 16:08, November 18, 2004
Beijing to open six sensitive commercial fields
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According to WTO & China, 2004 Beijing International Forum convened on November 16, some sensitive service industries will end their transition period and open to the outside world from December 11. The major hallmark will be the entry of foreign capital into Beijing market in the important areas including industries of bank, insurance, securities, commercial wholesale and retail, construction, and the flow of goods and materials.

December 11, 2004 will be the third anniversary of China's entry into the World Trade Organization (WTO). China will enter the later-part transition period of low tariffs and market access and will gradually open its market in nine divisions and more than 90 subdivisions in the fields of commerce, transportation, finance and tourism. And consequently, Beijing and other similar cities have been listed as the open cities in the period. Therefore, Beijing will open its market to the outside world from December 11 this year.

Beijing will open renminbi business to foreign banks starting from December 11, 2004 and the branches of foreign banks can do renminbi business. It is said that Beijing is the 14th city in China that opens the renminbi business to foreign banks. Meanwhile, Sino-foreign joint banks, a new market subject, will emerge in China. During the later part of the transition period, foreign property insurance companies are allowed to set foot in all the non life insurance businesses besides legal insurance businesses, which accelerates the development of the insurance market in China. From now on, all the foreign securities traders will enter Beijing securities market with a status of joint venture securities firms, making the competitive securities market more competitive.

Additionally, according to the Information Technology Agreement (ITA), China has lifted two thirds of the tariffs for IT products. Till the beginning of 2005, China is expected to implement zero tariffs to the remaining one third of the IT products and lift quota for all IT products. Starting from December 11. 2004, China will allow foreign investors to set up joint ventures in domestic and international basic telecommunication sector, in which the foreign share can reach as high as 25 per cent, 35 per cent by 2006 and 49 per cent by 2007. Being one of the leading open cities, Beijing will give green light to the establishment of Sino-foreign proprietary tourist agencies before December this year, and will allow the establishment of or lift the regional restrictions of the exclusively foreign owned tourist agencies before December 11 2007.

By People's Daily Online

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