New open­ing mea­sures launched

Rules eased for au­tos, ship­build­ing, air­craft

Global Times - - Front Page - By Wang Cong and Ma Jingjing

Fol­low­ing through on ear­lier prom­ises made by Pres­i­dent Xi Jin­ping, China on Tues­day an­nounced a slew of mea­sures to fur­ther open up the coun­try’s man­u­fac­tur­ing in­dus­try, fo­cus­ing on the au­to­mo­bile, ship­build­ing and air­craft sec­tors.

In a state­ment on Tues­day, China’s top eco­nomic plan­ning agency, the Na­tional De­vel­op­ment and Re­form Com­mis­sion (NDRC), an­nounced ma­jor changes in a forth­com­ing new neg­a­tive list for for­eign in­vest­ment in China, say­ing the new list will “greatly” ease re­stric­tions.

With the new list, China will lift the cur­rent re­stric­tions for for­eign in­vestors in a wide range of sec­tors, in­clud­ing fi­nance, au­to­mo­biles, en­ergy, re­sources, in­fras­truc­ture and trans­porta­tion, ac­cord­ing to the state­ment.

The new neg­a­tive list will be re­leased in the first half of 2018, it said, adding that the moves are fol­low­ing up on an April 10 speech by Xi at the open­ing cer­e­mony of the Boao Fo­rum for Asia’s an­nual meet­ing in South China’s Hainan Prov­ince, in which Xi an­nounced ma­jor open­ing-up mea­sures.

Among the changes, the NDRC high­lighted plans to phase out the share-hold­ing limit for for­eign in­vestors in the au­to­mo­bile, ship­build­ing and air­craft man­u­fac­tur­ing sec­tors. For­eign in­vestors are cur­rently lim­ited to a mi­nor­ity stake in a joint ven­ture (JV) with Chi­nese part­ners in the three sec­tors.

Ac­cord­ing to the state­ment, China will scrap the lim­its on for­eign stakes in spe­cial-pur­pose ve­hi­cle JVs and newen­ergy ve­hi­cle JVs in 2018, in com­mer­cial ve­hi­cle JVs by 2020 and in pas­sen­ger ve­hi­cle JVs by 2022.

The limit for for­eign car­mak­ers to si­mul­ta­ne­ously have two JVs will also be can­celed in 2022.

The share­hold­ing limit for for­eign in­vestors in the ship­build­ing and air­craft man­u­fac­tur­ing sec­tors will also be scrapped in 2018.

“China fully open­ing its man­u­fac­tur­ing sec­tor re­flects our stance against trade and in­vest­ment pro­tec­tion­ism and clear-cut sup­port for fur­ther deep­en­ing of eco­nomic glob­al­iza­tion,” the NDRC state­ment said.

“We also hope that through fully open man­u­fac­tur­ing, Chi­nese and for­eign com­pa­nies can achieve shared de­vel­op­ment in a fair com­pet­i­tive en­vi­ron­ment,” it read.

Pos­i­tive re­sponse

The new mea­sures re­ceived a pos­i­tive re­sponse from do­mes­tic and for­eign com­pa­nies.

“We wel­come China’s com­mit­ment to fur­ther open­ing-up and re­forms,” BMW Group said in a state­ment it sent to the Global Times on Tues­day.

“We be­lieve a freer and more flex­i­ble busi­ness en­vi­ron­ment will ben­e­fit both Chi­nese and for­eign com­pa­nies in China and the Chi­nese econ­omy,” BMW said.

“With China ex­pand­ing its re­form and open­ing-up, Boe­ing will con­tinue to broaden and deepen its part­ner­ship with China’s avi­a­tion in­dus­try to jointly make greater progress,” US avi­a­tion giant Boe­ing said in a state­ment sent to the Global Times.

Ger­man car­maker Volk­swa­gen Group also said that it strongly sup­ports and wel­comes China’s fur­ther moves in its re­form and open­ing-up strat­egy.

“Volk­swa­gen Group China will con­tinue to work to­gether with our part­ners to de­velop our joint ven­tures, sup­port the sus­tain­able de­vel­op­ment of the Chi­nese au­to­mo­tive in­dus­try, and pro­vide Chi­nese con­sumers with ex­cel­lent prod­ucts and ser­vices,” it said in a state­ment.

Shen Haiyin, CEO of Bei­jing-based Chi­nese new-en­ergy ve­hi­cle start-up Sin­gu­lato, told the Global Times on Tues­day that the open­ing of the sec­tor could help boost the do­mes­tic in­dus­try’s com­pet­i­tive­ness.

“Un­doubt­edly, in­ter­na­tion­ally fa­mous au­tomak­ers such as Tesla will ex­pand their pres­ence in China at a faster pace. But Chi­nese au­tomak­ers’ com­pet­i­tive­ness can be fur­ther im­proved by con­tend­ing with their in­ter­na­tional peers in the same mar­ket,” Shen said.

“With­out open­ing-up, China’s au­to­mo­bile in­dus­try can never grow,” he said.

“We are also very com­pet­i­tive and are pre­pared to com­pete,” Shen noted.

“China fully open­ing its man­u­fac­tur­ing sec­tor re­flects our stance against trade and in­vest­ment pro­tec­tion­ism and clearcut sup­port for fur­ther deep­en­ing of eco­nomic glob­al­iza­tion.” Na­tional De­vel­op­ment and Re­form Com­mis­sion

Photo: VCG

An em­ployee works at an assem­bly line in an elec­tronic car plant in Qingzhou, East China’s Shan­dong Prov­ince in De­cem­ber 2017.

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