Chinese market to open wider to foreign investors: document
Updated: 2013-11-16 01:33
By ZHAO YINAN in Beijing and WEI TIAN in Shanghai (China Daily)
More openness to global markets and foreign businesses features as a key part of the Third Plenum resolution whose full text was published on Friday evening.
Restrictions on overseas investors are to be lifted for industries including services for children and the elderly, architectural design, accounting and auditing, commerce, logistics and e-commerce.
Industries to be opened up gradually include financial services, education, culture and medical care, while the opening-up of the manufacturing sector will be deepened.
Foreign and domestic businesses are to be treated on equal terms under the Chinese legal system.
Opportunities for building more free trade zones, in addition to the pilot program in Shanghai, are indicated, with the document saying the central government may select several qualified areas to develop free trade parks, ports or zones.
Negotiations on mutual investment treaties with other countries and regions will be accelerated, the document states, and bureaucracy will be reduced for foreign investors.
On economic reform, there is much greater scope for development created for private companies and those with mixed ownership.
Most noticeably, private technology companies are granted access to the research, production and maintenance of military equipment.
Yang Delong, head of research with China Southern Asset Management, posted on his micro blog that the authorities may expand the limit on foreign exchange purchase, which is $50,000 a year for individuals.
This will also ease pressure on the country's mounting foreign exchange reserves, which reached $3.66 trillion by the end of September.
Jin Baisong, deputy director of the Department of Chinese Trade and Studies at the Chinese Academy of International Trade and Economic Cooperation, said China will speed up opening of its capital account to facilitate cross-border investment.
He described the decision to open more sectors, such as finance and education, to foreign investors as having symbolic meaning.
"Even domestic investors are struggling to enter these sectors. I don't think foreign investors could have done any better," he said.
Sun Lijian, deputy director of the School of Economics at Fudan University, said it will be a long process to open more sectors that were previously monopolized to foreign investors, but it will be an inevitable trend.
Sun said China has been protective in these areas, "but history taught us protectionism doesn't work".
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