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More areas in China open to wholly foreign-owned enterprises

(People's Daily)    11:28, March 11, 2019

Photo taken on May 17,2018 shows a bird view of containers placed at the fourth phase of the Yangshan Deep-Water Port, the world's largest unmanned container terminal in Shanghai. By June 2018, a total of 8,696 foreign-invested companies had been registered in the Shanghai Free Trade Zone since the latter’s establishment, with total contractual foreign capital topping $110.24 billion. (Photo/Xinhua News Agency)

China will roll out more opening measures in the agriculture, mining, manufacturing and service sectors, and allow wholly foreign-funded enterprises to operate in more sectors, a senior official of the country's top economic planner said.

The country has begun revising the negative list for foreign investment access and will continue to carry out test programs for further opening-up in free trade zones, Ning Jizhe, deputy director of the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC), told a press conference on the sidelines of the annual legislative session on March 6.

It will further shorten the negative list which outlines fields off-limits to foreign investors based on last year's measures to substantially expand market access for foreign investors, Ning said.

A staff of a Chinese exhibitor introduces a robot to foreigners at the 2018 China Yiwu International Intelligence Manufacturing Equipment Expo. The expo was held in Yiwu, eastern China’s Zhejiang province on November 29, 2018, attracting a large number of enterprises from China, the US, Germany, Japan, Singapore, and Italy. (Gong Xianming/People’s Daily Online)

The NDRC official introduced that a new catalog of encouraged foreign-invested industries will be released this year. The list aims to encourage foreign investment in more fields, and give full play to the role of foreign capital in the transformation and upgrading of traditional industries, the development of emerging industries and coordinated regional development.

Foreign capital in China will be entitled to pre- and post-establishment national treatment, Ning said, adding that China is taking measures to remove access restrictions for foreign investment in areas outside the negative list to ensure that foreign investors are treated the same as domestic ones.

The country will also offer fair treatment for foreign-invested companies in terms of government procurement, setting of standards, industrial policies, technological policies, qualification licensing, registration, going public and access to financing, said Ning.

Ning disclosed that the country’s top economic planner is working with other departments and local governments to simplify management procedures such as filing, and facilitate and serve major foreign-invested projects.

Visitors watch a Tesla’s Model 3 exhibited at the foundation stone laying ceremony of the Phase I project of Tesla’s supper factory in Shanghai. The largest foreign-invested manufacturing project in Shanghai started construction in Lingang Area on January 7, 2019. (Photo/Xinhua News Agency)

The commission has so far granted approval to two batches of foreign-invested projects, and the third batch, including projects in new energy, advanced manufacturing, petrochemicals and electronic information, will be introduced this year.

The NDRC will support these projects not only in the use of land, ocean and energy resources, but also in project planning. It will also accelerate environmental impact assessment so as to further enhance investment facilitation.

(For the latest China news, Please follow People's Daily on Twitter and Facebook)(Web editor: Xian Jiangnan, Liang Jun)

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