China Reinforces Plans to Ease Restrictions on Foreign Investment
Liao Shumin
/SOURCE : Yicai
China Reinforces Plans to Ease Restrictions on Foreign Investment

(Yicai Global) May 31 -- China's cabinet, the State Council, plans to relax market access and simplify work permit procedures for foreign workers as it looks to make better use of overseas capital.

Efforts should be made to honor commitments already made to easing restrictions on foreign investment in the automotive, ship, aircraft and other manufacturing industries, it was decided at the meeting, chaired by Chinese Premier Li Keqiang. The nation should aim to bring in overseas traders of crude oil and iron ore futures and support foreign financial institutions as they look to increase underwrite more local government bonds.

China has been accelerating the opening up of its financial markets as it looks to put itself on the same level as developed nations. More than 230 stocks will join the MSCI Emerging Markets Index tomorrow, and the country is in the midst of linking up the Shanghai and London stock exchanges with plans to begin trading this year.

China should facilitate foreign investment and look to international standards as a benchmark, attendees agreed. The country needs to fully revise its foreign investment blacklist, put provincial governments in charge of the establishment of foreign-backed companies with investment of less than USD1 billion and simplify the work permit process for foreign workers before July 1, it was decided. Expatriates who meet recruitment requirements will be able to get their permit within two days when the changes take place.

The country should also better protect the rights and interests of foreign companies by cracking down on copyright infringement and counterfeiting, distribution of trade secrets and malicious trademark registrations, and raise the compensation cap for such violations, it was decided. China is under increasing pressure from the United States to stop its firms stealing American intellectual property. The US has said it will continue to threaten the Asian nation with USD50 billion worth of import tariffs until it resolves the issue.

Attendees also believe that policies covering credit, land use and social security should be improved to reduce operating costs for companies and to guide foreign investment to the central and western regions and the agriculture, advanced manufacturing and modern service industries.

Editor: James Boynton

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Keywords: Foreign Investment , Foreign Financial Institutions , Expatriates , Work Permits