China issues order to purge regulations, policies that may discriminate against foreign enterprises

Asian Tech Press (Nov 20) -- The Chinese government is stepping up its efforts to attract foreign investment, and has issued an order to clean up regulations and policies that contain unreasonable differences in treatment between domestic and foreign investors.

On November 16, the Ministry of Commerce (MOFCOM) and the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) released positive signals in their press conferences that they are stepping up their efforts to attract and utilize foreign investment.

He Yadong, spokesman for MOFCOM, said that the department will further scrutinize regulations and measures that may discriminate against foreign enterprises.

Previously, on November 8, China's Ministry of Commerce issued a document stating that it would further deepen the cleanup of regulations, policies and measures that may exist to discriminate against foreign-invested enterprises.

The move is "to create a fairer market competition environment for foreign enterprises and stabilize the expectations and confidence of foreign investors in long-term investment in China," the document read.

In terms of easing market access for foreign investors, NDRC spokesman Li Chao revealed that it will work with relevant departments to push for a reasonable reduction of the "negative list" of foreign investment, fully abolish access restrictions for foreign investors in the manufacturing sector, and further promote the expansion of opening up in the service sector.

Official data showed that from January to October 2023, China set up 41,947 new foreign-invested enterprises, up 32.1% year-on-year.

During the same period, the actual use of foreign capital amounted to 987.01 billion yuan ($137.54 billion) in China, down 9.4% year-on-year.

(US$1 = 7.176 yuan)

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