China removes restrictions on foreign investment

BEIJING – China issued Saturday a list eliminating 27 restrictions on eight sectors for foreign investment in its free trade zones.

In manufacturing, for example, foreign companies will be able to produce their own railway transport facilities, rather than forming joint ventures with local companies.

According to the report, the rules for foreign companies that manufacture electric vehicles and related products were also relaxed. Another benefited sector is finance; now foreign banks will be able to subscribe government bonds and will not have to wait a minimum period of operations to offer services with renminbi, the official currency of the Communist nation.

This list of prohibitions or restrictions specific to foreign investment applies only in China’s 11 free trade zones.

Authorities promised to gradually reduce this list, which began in 2013 with 190 articles and currently has 95.

According to the official press report, the reduction of restrictions or prohibitions aims at further opening the market.

Recently, Chinese Premier Li Keqiang declared that by reducing bureaucracy, the country will be able to stimulate the market’s vitality and the people’s creativity.

In the report on government work presented in the first quarter of this year, Li also stressed that as part of streamlining government functions, the pilot program will be expanded to allow market access and administration will reduce its discretionary power.