Li pledges further opening-up for foreign firms

By Li Xuanmin Source:Global Times Published: 2018/3/5 21:01:06

More access in telecoms, healthcare, finance

China will open up further to foreign investment in the telecommunications, healthcare, education, and new-energy vehicle sectors, and comprehensively open up the country's general manufacturing industry to overseas investors, Premier Li Keqiang said on Monday.

China will also open up its bank card clearing business to foreign investment in an "orderly" manner, and remove the limits on the scope of business for foreign insurance brokerage companies in 2018, according to the Government Work Report Li delivered at the opening meeting of the first session of the 13th National People's Congress at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing.

Li also noted that the country will "relax or cancel the foreign equity caps" for banks as well as securities, fund management, futures, and financial asset management firms.

In addition, China will unify the market access standards for both domestic and foreign banks, while also simplifying the application procedures for foreign-owned enterprises, Li noted in the report.

Commenting on the report, a manager at a foreign-owned manufacturer that has invested in a plant in South China's Guangdong Province, who spoke on condition of anonymity, told the Global Times on Monday that Li's report was "positive" news for foreign manufacturers like him, and he would like to learn more detailed measures about the comprehensive opening-up.

"We want to continue to grow and invest [in China]," the manager said, while also mentioning that he expected the Chinese authorities to tackle the recent price hikes in industrial raw materials in order to help foreign investors stay competitive.

Dong Dengxin, director of the Financial Securities Institute at the Wuhan University of Science and Technology, told the Global Times on Monday that the opening-up of financial and other services sectors this year will bring changes for "the last fortress in the country that had been largely closed to foreign investors."

He also said it signaled China's open attitude as well as rising confidence in the governance of and price-setting ability in those industries.

"This is remarkable, considering that this year marks the 40th anniversary of the country's reform and opening-up policy," he said.

The introduction of more foreign investment will increase competition in those sectors and Chinese companies will have to cope with this, Dong said.

"But in the long term, it will spur domestic firms to improve their efficiency. They will know what international standards are and will be more able to compete on the global stage," he said.  

Posted in: ECONOMY

blog comments powered by Disqus