A warm welcome with Chinese characteristics? Photo: Isaac Lawrence/AFP
A warm welcome with Chinese characteristics? Photo: Isaac Lawrence/AFP

China’s cabinet issued measures on Tuesday to further open the world’s second-largest economy to foreign investment, including easing limits on investment in banks and other financial institutions.

China will lower restrictions on foreign investment in banking, securities, investment management, futures, insurance, credit ratings and accounting, the State Council said in a statement posted on its website.

No further details were provided, nor a timetable for their implementation.

The state planner had indicated at the end of last year that the government would take measures to relax foreign investment in certain sectors.

The measures come as President Xi Jinping seeks to project China as a world leader in fighting protectionism and defending globalisation. China will keep its door wide open and not close it, Xi told the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, on Tuesday.

China, however, has been the target of complaints from foreign business groups that have criticized its slow pace of market reforms and say its national security regulations and industrial policies are at odds with its reform goals.

The state council also said in a statement foreign-invested firms would be allowed to list on the Shanghai and Shenzhen exchanges as well as a New Third Board, the country’s biggest over-the-counter (OTC) equity exchange.