China to im­prove ac­cess for for­eign com­pa­nies ‘A new round of high-level open­ing up’

Kuwait Times - - BUSINESS -

China’s State Coun­cil, or cab­i­net, said yes­ter­day the coun­try is com­mit­ted to im­prove ac­cess for for­eign com­pa­nies in China, as part of “a new round of high-level open­ing up”. Ac­cord­ing to a state­ment re­leased yes­ter­day fol­low­ing a State Coun­cil meet­ing chaired by Pre­mier Li Ke­qiang, the Chi­nese govern­ment will cre­ate an en­vi­ron­ment for fair com­pe­ti­tion for for­eign firms. “It’s im­por­tant part of push­ing for­ward a new round of high-level open­ing up,” the state­ment said.

In the fu­ture, ex­cept for cer­tain sen­si­tive in­dus­tries in which ac­cess for for­eign com­pa­nies is re­stricted, for­eign in­vest­ments would only re­quire regis­tra­tion, rather than ap­proval. The state­ment did not of­fer de­tails on how the new sys­tem would work. It also said the Chi­nese govern­ment would take fur­ther steps to im­prove mar­ket en­try for for­eign com­pa­nies.

The State Coun­cil’s state­ment comes at a time when the for­eign busi­ness com­mu­nity in China has be­come highly crit­i­cal of the cur­rent un­bal­anced ac­cess for for­eign com­pa­nies in China. Last month, a top Euro­pean busi­ness lobby warned China that it risked a pro­tec­tion­ist backlash un­less it opened its mar­kets faster to for­eign in­vest­ment. Progress on China’s eco­nomic re­forms has been “highly dis­ap­point­ing”, the Euro­pean Union Cham­ber of Com­merce in China said in an an­nual pa­per, re­leased as China pre­pared to host lead­ers from the world’s big­gest economies at last month’s G20 sum­mit in Hangzhou.

Forex re­serves fall

China’s moun­tain of for­eign ex­change re­serves dropped around $19 bil­lion in Septem­ber to a five-year low, govern­ment data showed, with the cen­tral bank spend­ing heav­ily to de­fend its cur­rency against cap­i­tal out­flows. The world’s largest cur­rency hoard fell to un­der $3.17 tril­lion, the Peo­ple’s Bank of China (PBOC) said on its web­site Fri­day, be­low me­dian an­a­lyst fore­casts of $3.18 tril­lion in a Bloomberg News sur­vey.

It was the third straight month of declines and brought China’s re­serves to their low­est level since April 2011, Bloomberg said. An­a­lysts said the de­cline in­di­cated China was sell­ing for­eign ex­change to buy its yuan cur­rency amid cap­i­tal flight spurred by slow­ing growth in the world’s sec­ond largest econ­omy. The data came days after the yuan’s of­fi­cial en­try into the In­ter­na­tional Mon­e­tary Fund’s elite SDR bas­ket of cur­ren­cies, a sym­bolic coup for Bei­jing pol­i­cy­mak­ers who are seek­ing to ex­pand in­ter­na­tional use of the cur­rency.

In the months pre­ced­ing the cur­rency’s for­mal in­clu­sion, China’s cen­tral bank spent “heav­ily” to keep the yuan’s value sta­ble, roughly $27 bil­lion last month, said Ju­lian Evans-Pritchard of Cap­i­tal Eco­nom­ics. But “with the in­clu­sion of the ren­minbi in the SDR bas­ket now com­plete, the PBOC may no longer feel the need to in­ter­vene as heav­ily to counter cap­i­tal out­flows”, he said, adding that US Fed­eral Re­serve rate hikes could in­crease de­pre­ci­a­tion pres­sure on the yuan in com­ing months.

In other news, China wants to start talks on a fea­si­bil­ity study for a free trade agree­ment with Colom­bia as soon as pos­si­ble, China’s for­eign min­is­ter said dur­ing a visit to the South Amer­i­can coun­try, where he also of­fered sup­port for its peace process. China is not a big diplo­matic player in the re­gion de­spite be­ing a ma­jor com­modi­ties buyer there, but al­ready has free trade pacts with Peru, Chile and Costa Rica.

Pres­i­dent Xi Jin­ping will at­tend a sum­mit of the Asia Pa­cific Eco­nomic Co­op­er­a­tion (APEC) bloc in Peru next month and is also ex­pected to visit sev­eral other Latin Amer­i­can na­tions. Chi­nese For­eign Min­is­ter Wang Yi said dur­ing a visit to Colom­bia that China would main­tain close com­mu­ni­ca­tions with Bo­gota to start sub­stan­tive talks on a free trade agree­ment fea­si­bil­ity study as early as pos­si­ble, China’s For­eign Min­istry said yes­ter­day. The state­ment pro­vided no de­tails.

Colom­bian Pres­i­dent Juan Manuel San­tos won the 2016 No­bel Peace Prize on Fri­day for his ef­forts to end a 52-year-old war with Marx­ist guer­ril­las, a sur­prise choice and a show of sup­port days after vot­ers re­jected a peace deal he signed with the rebels. Wang said that, as a per­ma­nent mem­ber of the United Na­tions Se­cu­rity Coun­cil and a good friend of Colom­bia’s, China would con­tinue to sup­port the peace process.

“China up­holds that all hot but­ton is­sues in the end should be re­solved via peace­ful ne­go­ti­a­tions. Force can­not re­solve prob­lems, only bring more harm and even hate,” the min­istry para­phrased Wang as say­ing. Wang also con­grat­u­lated San­tos on win­ning the No­bel prize, the state­ment added. China has a dif­fi­cult re­la­tion­ship with the No­bel Peace Prize and re­acted with fury when it was awarded to prom­i­nent Chi­nese dis­si­dent Liu Xiaobo in 2010. Ex­iled Ti­betan spir­i­tual leader the Dalai Lama, a man ac­cused by Bei­jing of be­ing a dan­ger­ous separatist, is a fel­low peace prize lau­re­ate. —Agen­cies

HONG KONG: This file photo taken on July 6, 1998 shows Hong Kong flag car­rier Cathay Pa­cific Boe­ing 747-400 jumbo jet, fly­ing over the Kai Tak Air­port con­trol tower (bot­tom) as it ap­proaches Run­way 13 on the last day of the 73-year-old air­port. —AFP

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Kuwait

© PressReader. All rights reserved.