China has unveiled a new, shortened nationwide negative list for foreign investment, cutting the items off limits to foreign investment from 48 down to 40, Global Times reported.
In the latest move to honor its commitment to further open up its economy, seven major sectors – including shipping agencies, gas and heat pipelines in cities with more than 500,000 people, cinemas, value-added telecoms, and oil and gas exploration and development – saw ownership restrictions relaxed or removed.
The new negative list, which become effective on July 30, 2019, show the country’s firm determination to further open up its vast market at its own pace, and offer dividends from its economic growth to the world, Chinese analysts noted.
A separate list governing foreign investment in China’s free trade zones, which enjoy a higher degree of openness, slashed restricted areas from 45 to 37.
The NDRC also vowed to scrap all remaining restrictions outside the negative list before the end of the year.
The negative list will provide a greater degree of market access and allow foreign investors to run majority-share or wholly owned businesses in more sectors.
The new negative list was announced a day after the China-US trade war showed signs of easing, when the US agreed to suspend a plan to impose additional tariffs on $300 billion worth of Chinese goods after the meeting between Chinese President Xi Jinping and US President Donald Trump on the sidelines of the G20 Osaka summit.
The rolling out of the new negative list is one of China’s self-motivated reform measures.
“Shortening the negative list is by no means a forced move, but rather China’s new effort to further pursue opening-up at a wider scope and to a deeper degree,” said Bai Ming, deputy director of the Ministry of Commerce (MOFCOM)’s International Market Research Institute.
China remains the hottest investment destination in the world thanks to its complete industrial system and promising consumer market, a spokesperson for MOFCOM said on June 13.