New guidelines to attract foreign investment

08:20, May 25, 2011      

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Senior overseas executives and high-tech personnel in Guangdong's provincial capital will be able to apply for multi-journey visas valid for 2 to 5 years after a new regulation comes into effect later this year.

Legal representatives, general managers, deputy general managers and financial directors from overseas will also be able to apply for a Guangzhou five-year residence permit, according to the Implementation Guidelines for Promoting the Use of Foreign Investment.

The 19-article document issued by Guangzhou city government is expected to come into effect in the second half of the year.

The guidelines require relevant departments in the city to offer "green passage" and simplify procedures for major foreign-funded companies and joint ventures applying for operating licenses and related certificates.

In addition to simplified exit and entry procedures for foreign executives and hi-tech talent, domestic employees of the foreign-funded companies can apply for multi-journey travel documents to visit the Hong Kong and Macao special administrative regions.

The guidelines are aimed at helping Guangzhou, which is located in the center of the prosperous Pearl River Delta, attract more foreign investment and talent in the following years.

An official from Guangzhou city bureau of foreign trade and economic cooperation said the guidelines will help the city further improve its competitiveness in using foreign investment.

"The number of foreign executives who come to Guangzhou to work and do business will continue to grow, due to the city's improving environment, rapid economic development and the myriad business opportunities," said the official who declined to be named.

Harley Seyedin, president of the American Chamber of Commerce in South China, saidthat any effort to make it easier for foreign individuals and small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to establish a business in China is welcome and will help increase foreign investment.

"The vast majority of innovations in the west are achieved by individuals and SMEs. Therefore, further opening business opportunities to SMEs and individuals will result in the arrival of foreign technology in China," Seyedin told China Daily.

"This is technology which is not now available in China but is vital as Guangdong, and especially Guangzhou, work to transform their industries from manufacturing for exports to higher value-added industries," he added.

Chen Xingwen, a Guangzhou white-collar worker, said the guidelines are also good news for domestic workers.

"Local white collar workers will have even more opportunities if more foreign companies are attracted to Guangzhou," Chen said.

To attract foreign investment and foreign high-tech talent, Guangzhou city government will also join hands with relevant ministries and bureaus of the central government to jointly organize an annual Guangzhou International Investment Forum, to expand cooperation and contact with big name international conglomerates and financial groups.

More than 63,000 permanent foreign residents are registered in Guangdong and more than 4 million foreigners visit the province annually.

As well as Guangzhou, the province's foreigners mainly live and work in Shenzhen and Zhuhai special economic zones, Dongguan, Foshan, Jiangmen, Zhongshan, Huizhou, Zhaoqing and other prosperous cities in the Pearl River Delta.

Source: China Daily
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