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China to substantially reduce restrictions for foreign investors: official

BEIJING, April 18 (Xinhua) — China will substantially reduce restrictions for foreign investors to further open up the economy, an official with the nation’s top economic planner said Wednesday.

A new negative list on foreign investment nationwide will impose a much smaller number of restrictions and unveil opening-up measures in fields including finance, automobiles, energy, resources, infrastructure, transportation, commercial circulation and professional services, said Yan Pengcheng, spokesperson of the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC), at a press conference.

The list will also increase the predictability of policies by giving timetables and grace periods for opening-up measures to be taken in the coming few years, he said.

On Tuesday, the NDRC announced that the new negative list will be published as early as possible in the first half of this year.

China started to pilot a negative list approach in the Shanghai FTZ in 2013. All sectors are open to foreign investors except for those outlined in the negative list.

Foreign and domestic companies will be given equal treatment in the implementation of the “Made in China 2025” strategy and other areas, including government purchase and technology programs, according to Yan.

The “Made in China 2025” strategy is a plan to upgrade the country’s manufacturing sector.

Authorities will increase the efficiency of services for foreign firms in terms of business establishment, construction permission and cross-border trade, Yan said.