Beijing has announced that it will further open key sectors of the Chinese economy to foreign capital.
At a press conference held on Friday Meng Wei, vice-chair and media spokesperson for the policy research office of the National Development and Reform Commission, announced that in the second half of 2017 the central government would further loosen restrictions on foreign capital entering the finance and clean energy vehicle sectors.
The central government will establish an “open, fair and convenient investment environment,” as well as support the expansion of reforms to the commercial environments of mega-cities such as Beijing, Guangzhou, Shanghai and Shenzhen.
“China is currently promoting a new round of high-level openness to the outside, continually raising the level of openness, and greatly increasing the convenience of foreign investment via reforms for the simplification of administrative procedures, delegation of power and the filing system.”
While China has consistently remained one of the world’s top three destinations for foreign investment in terms of investment volumes in recent years, Meng said that last year saw a decline due to fluctuations in cross-border capital flows that have become the norm as the global economy stages a shaky recovery.
Figures from UNCTAD indicate that cross-border investment fell by 2% last year, while the US Bureau of Economic Analysis indicates that inbound foreign investment for the US fell by 1.9% last year, and dropped 44.2% in the first quarter of this year.
Meng further pointed to ongoing transitions in China’s economic model as prompting changes in the structure of foreign investment, with inbound investment in the wholesale and retail and real estate sector declining in the first half, yet expanding rapidly in hi-tech manufacturing and hi-tech services.
The ‘2017 World Investment Report’ released by UNCTAD in June states that China is currently the second most popular destination country in the world for foreign investment, while research from the American Chamber of Commerce and the EU Chamber of Commerce indicates that 69% of US corporations plan to expand their investments in China, and approximately one third of EU corporations list China as a top three R&D project investment destination.