In­vest­ment cli­mate to im­prove For­eign projects to en­joy faster cus­toms clear­ance, lower taxes

China Daily (Canada) - - TOP NEWS - By ZHANG YUE zhangyue@chi­

China will en­cour­age ma­jor for­eign-in­vested projects, lower im­port tar­iffs and ease cus­toms pro­ce­dures to ex­pand open­ing-up and en­able a bet­ter en­vi­ron­ment for for­eign in­vest­ment, it was de­cided at a State Coun­cil ex­ec­u­tive meet­ing presided over by Pre­mier Li Ke­qiang on Wed­nes­day.

An on­line fil­ing process will be in­tro­duced to reg­u­late for­eign in­vest­ment in China. Uni­fied mar­ket ac­cess cri­te­ria will be ap­plied to both Chi­nese and for­eign in­vest­ment in ar­eas out­side the neg­a­tive list.

Large-scale for­eign in­vest­ments el­i­gi­ble for ma­jor project de­vel­op­ment plans will re­ceive sup­port on land and sea-use ap­proval pro­ce­dures, and an ac­cel­er­ated re­view process of en­vi­ron­men­tal im­pact and lo­gis­ti­cal costs will be im­ple­mented.

The coun­try will open more ar­eas to for­eign in­vest­ment, and tax ben­e­fits will be ex­tended to a larger va­ri­ety of in­vest- ments. The meet­ing also urged en­hanced pro­tec­tion of in­tel­lec­tual prop­erty rights.

“This year marks the 40th an­niver­sary of re­form and open­ing-up in China. Given the evolv­ing sit­u­a­tion at home and abroad, it is im­por­tant to firmly com­mit to fos­ter­ing greater open­ing-up and at­tract for­eign in­vest­ment to help an­chor mar­ket ex­pec­ta­tions,” Li said.

For­eign in­vest­ment reached $86.5 bil­lion be­tween Jan­uary and Au­gust 2018, a 6.1 per­cent in­crease year-on-year, the Min­istry of Com­merce said.

Start­ing on Nov 1, im­port tar­iffs on a to­tal of 1,585 items will be slashed. The av­er­age tar­iff rate for ma­chin­ery and in­dus­trial in­stru­ments will be cut from 12.2 per­cent to 8.8 per­cent, tex­tile and con­struc­tion ma­te­ri­als from 11.5 per­cent to 8.4 per­cent, and pa­per and some other re­source­based prod­ucts and pri­mar­ily pro­cessed goods from 6.6 per­cent to 5.4 per­cent. Tax brack­ets will be con­sol­i­dated for goods in the same or sim­i­lar cat­e­gories.

Tar­iff cuts in­tro­duced to date will help re­duce cor­po­rate and con­sumer tax bur­dens by nearly 60 bil­lion yuan and lower China’s over­all im­port tar­iff rate from 9.8 per­cent last year to 7.5 per­cent.

More ef­fort will be made to ex­pe­dite cus­toms clear­ance. It was de­cided at the meet­ing that by Nov 1, the num­ber of cus­toms clear­ance doc­u­ments sub­ject to ver­i­fi­ca­tion at ports will be re­duced from 86 to 48. The list of ad­min­is­tra­tive charges at ports will be re­leased be­fore the end of Oc­to­ber. Com­pli­ance costs for the im­port and ex­port of con­tain­ers will be re­duced by this year.

Over­haul of fees must be com­pleted with­out de­lay in or­der to abol­ish un­rea­son­able charges and cut com­pli­ance costs, Li urged at the meet­ing.

“Com­pe­tent de­part­ments must work jointly to en­hance over­sight and treat for­eign and do­mes­tic busi­nesses as equals,” Li said.

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