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B&R News: China advances all-round opening-up at "two sessions"
8 Mar 2019

 

China expects to see wider opening-up as it pledges to do more to attract foreign investment and promote global cooperation at the ongoing annual "two sessions."

 

"We will promote all-round opening-up and foster new strengths in international economic cooperation and competition," Chinese Premier Li Keqiang said when delivering the government work report to the annual legislative session Tuesday.

 

At the session, further relax of controls over market access has been announced, a draft foreign investment law will be deliberated, and the Belt and Road cooperation has been promoted.

 

UNVEILING OPPORTUNITIES

 

The government will further shorten the negative list which outlines fields off-limits to foreign investors, Ning Jizhe, deputy director of the National Development and Reform Commission, told a press conference on the sidelines of the annual legislative session Wednesday.

 

China will roll out more opening measures to the agriculture, mining, manufacturing and service sectors, and allow wholly foreign-funded enterprises to operate in more sectors, Ning said.

John Huang with the British information service provider Experian believes that international investors will welcome China's further opening-up.

 

China saw a record foreign direct investment of 135 billion U.S. dollars in 2018 despite a global economic downturn and rising protectionism.

 

FOREIGN INVESTMENT LAW

 

On Tuesday, Premier Li emphasized opening up based on rules and related institutions. A highlight at this year's "two sessions" is the draft foreign investment law, which is to be submitted to this year's session of the 13th National People's Congress (NPC) for review.

 

Once adopted, the unified law will replace three existing laws on Chinese-foreign equity joint ventures, non-equity joint ventures (or contractual joint ventures) and wholly foreign-owned enterprises.

 

The foreign investment law would be highly significant to protect legitimate rights and interests of foreign investors and ensure fair competition, said Loh Jen Yuh, president of China & Investment Management of CapitaLand Group, one of Asia's largest real estate companies.

 

 

PROMOTING GLOBAL COOPERATION

 

Along with the efforts to attract foreign businesses, China is also stepping up the implementation of the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) to benefit more participants.

 

To date, a total of 152 countries and international organizations have signed cooperation documents with China on the BRI.

 

According to the government work report, China will continue to "promote the joint pursuit" of the BRI, aiming at "shared growth through discussion and collaboration." China has signed free trade agreements with over 20 countries and regions. 

 

Source: Xinhua News Agency