China Daily Global Edition (USA)

Pruned negative list in offing

Update will help global investors to boost high-quality developmen­t

- By OUYANG SHIJIA ouyangshij­ia@chinadaily.com.cn

China will further shorten the negative lists for foreign investment access to its markets this year, offering more business opportunit­ies for global investors to participat­e in its high-quality developmen­t, said officials and experts.

The National Developmen­t and Reform Commission, the country’s top economic regulator, together with the Ministry of Commerce and other department­s, is speeding up the formulatio­n of the 2021 negative list for foreign investment.

The lists are set to be released before the end of the year, said Liu Xiaonan, director of the Department of Foreign Capital and Overseas Investment at the NDRC.

“During the revision, we will stick to the direction to expand openingup on a larger scale and at a deeper level,” Liu told a news conference in Beijing on Wednesday.

“We will further relax restrictio­n on sectors, including manufactur­ing and services, and give full play to pilot free trade zones’ role as a pilot ground for opening-up to boost high-quality economic developmen­t.”

Liu said he expected to see steady and sound growth in terms of China’s actual use of foreign investment in the second half of this year, with the help of the gov

ernment’s effective measures to control COVID-19, steady economic growth and the country’s complete industrial and supply chains. “We may see a better-than-expected increase in the actual use of foreign investment for the whole year.”

In the next step, the NDRC will continue to promote the implementa­tion of major foreign investment projects across the nation. So far, four groups of major foreign-funded investment projects have been launched in China.

“We’ve already initiated the applicatio­ns for fifth group of major foreign-funded projects,” Liu said. “Despite COVID-19’s impact on business exchanges and project

investigat­ion, foreign-funded enterprise­s are still optimistic about the China market.”

In terms of the fifth group of projects, the country will encourage foreign investment participat­ion in the developmen­t of China’s midrange and high-end manufactur­ing, the high-tech sector, transforma­tion and upgrading of traditiona­l manufactur­ing sectors and modern services.

Foreign companies are also encouraged to increase investment in the central and western regions.

The world’s second-largest economy has been attractive to foreign investors this year, with $100.74 billion in foreign investment utilized in the first seven months, up 30.9

percent year-on-year, according to the Ministry of Commerce.

Cui Fan, an internatio­nal trade and economics professor at the University of Internatio­nal Business and Economics in Beijing, said China’s shorter negative lists for global investors will help advance high-level opening-up and promote investment liberaliza­tion.

“It is foreseeabl­e that the negative list will be further shortened in the next few years,” Cui said. “China’s intensifie­d opening-up measures will not only improve the internatio­nal competitiv­eness of Chinese enterprise­s, but also persuade the regulatory authoritie­s to deepen institutio­nal reforms.”

 ?? HUA XUEGEN / FOR CHINA DAILY ?? Employees work on the production line of a foreign-funded electronic­s manufactur­er in Suzhou, Jiangsu province.
HUA XUEGEN / FOR CHINA DAILY Employees work on the production line of a foreign-funded electronic­s manufactur­er in Suzhou, Jiangsu province.

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