Backgrounder: China's endeavor to improve business environment for foreign investors

Source: Xinhua| 2019-03-11 20:12:24|Editor: ZX
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BEIJING, March 11 (Xinhua) -- With a draft foreign investment law submitted to the ongoing annual session of the 13th National People's Congress for review, China has been making consistent efforts to optimize its business environment and embrace investors worldwide.

The following are major moves China has taken in the past year to reach out to overseas investors and ensure fair competition between domestic and foreign players.

-- March 7, 2019: The China Securities Regulatory Commission allowed the International Monetary Fund to access the country's capital market via the RMB Qualified Foreign Institutional Investors program.

-- March 5, 2019: China pledged in its government work report to further relax controls over market access, shorten the negative list for foreign investment, and permit wholly foreign funded enterprises to operate in more sectors.

-- Dec. 25, 2018: China rolled out a nationwide shorter negative list for market access, with the number of items down to 151, which is 177 items fewer than that in the previous pilot version.

-- Dec. 3, 2018: China's securities regulator approved UBS AG's plan to gain a majority stake in its mainland securities joint venture, with the company's stake in UBS Securities Co. rising to 51 percent.

-- Nov. 25, 2018: China approved the German insurer Allianz Group's preparatory establishment of the country's first ever wholly-foreign owned insurance holding company.

-- Oct. 16, 2018: China rolled out a plan for establishing Hainan as a pilot Free Trade Zone (FTZ), the 12th and largest among its peers.

-- Oct. 10, 2018: The Shanghai FTZ issued the country's first negative list in the service trade field.

-- June 28, 2018: China unveiled a shortened negative list for foreign investment, with the number of items down to 48, from 63 in the previous version, following an experiment in pilot FTZs.

Last year, China saw a record foreign direct investment of 135 billion U.S. dollars despite a global economic downturn and rising protectionism.