Report urges level playing field, China endeavors to forge fair business environment: experts

By Huang Ge Source:Global Times Published: 2018/5/30 21:03:39

China endeavors to forge fair business environment: experts

China is stepping up efforts to open its market to foreign investors at its own pace and the government is committed to forging a fair and transparent business environment, Chinese experts said on Wednesday.

The comments were made after the American Chamber of Commerce in China (AmCham China) released its annual American Business in China White Paper on Wednesday, in which the chamber and its members welcome and appreciate efforts by the Chinese government to improve the environment for foreign business in 2017.

However, lack of consistency in policy implementation and interpretation and the clarity of laws and enforcement remain issues of concern, according to the White Paper.

AmCham China urges the Chinese government to increase regulatory fairness, predictability and greater transparency, creating a level playing field on investment reciprocity and fairness for foreign firms in the Chinese market.

"This year the world's two largest economies face some of their most significant bilateral challenges in the past 40 years: How to reconcile China's government funding and protection of State-owned and State-influenced enterprises versus the American model based on market forces," William Zarit, chairman of AmCham China, said at a meeting held in Beijing on Wednesday.

The chamber recommended the Chinese government take concrete steps to give American investors in China the same levels of market access, legal protections and non-discriminatory treatment.

The domestic business environment has improved in recent years as the Chinese government has eased market access for foreign investors based on a negative list, Han Bing, an expert at the Institute of World Economics and Politics at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, told the Global Times on Wednesday.

China is making new negative lists to expand market access for foreign investors, the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC), the country's top economic planner, said in April. There will be two new negative lists: one that applies to the country's free trade zones and another for the rest of the country, according to  the NDRC.

A negative list approach identifies sectors and businesses that are off-limits or restricted for investment.

Experts said that China will take steps to further open up sectors like manufacturing, services and finance based on its own pace and will not be forced to do so by global pressure.

"The Chinese government has long worked to build a market environment for fair competition and has offered impartial treatment to foreign companies in the domestic market, equal to Chinese enterprises in sectors including qualification permission, standards establishment and government procurement," said Liu Jianying, an associate research fellow at the Chinese Academy of International Trade and Economic Cooperation.

Newspaper headline: Report urges level playing field

Posted in: ECONOMY

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